Easter is a Christian festival that celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Here are some facts you probably didn’t know about the most important Christian feast.
- Pysanka is often taken to mean any type of decorated egg, but it actually refers to the Ukrainian Easter egg using the batik method. The designs are written using beeswax. The colors used are rich in symbolism. The world’s largest pysanka was created as a tribute to the 100th Anniversary of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1975 that brought peace and security to Vegreville’s ethnic heritage. It measures 25.7 long, 18.3 feet wide, and stands 31.6 feet high. It is also recognized as an achievement of nine mathematical, architectural and engineering firsts
- In the United States, the term Spring Holiday is sometimes used in place of Easter or Good Friday. Some Christians argue that it is used to avoid recognition of, or to secularize a Christian holiday. Supporters of the term say that its use is an attempt to include non-Christians on the holiday or to impose the separation of Church and state.
- There are many stories surrounding the origin of the word Easter. One of the most renowned is about the pagan Anglo-Saxon goddess Eostre the goddess of sunrise and spring and the Teutonic goddess of dawn. The sunrise direction, East, is named after her. Eastre is believed to be an ancient word for spring. As pagans celebrate their spring festival, the Jews celebrate the Passover, in memory of the day God delivered them out of Egyptian slavery. The Hebrew word for Passover is Pesach. In the Jewish calendar it is the first day of spring.
- Easter symbols include: the crucifix or cross, candles (including light and fire), bunnies, lamb, eggs and hot cross buns and some traditional customs are carnivals, egg hunting and giving, passion plays and feasting.
- Easter (not Christmas), is the fundamental and most important religious feast in the Christian liturgical year. Christians believe that three days after his crucifixion, Christ rose from the dead. Easter Sunday is the celebration of his resurrection. The chronology of his death and resurrection is estimated between 26 and 36 A.D.
- Easter always starts on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox. This dating is based on the lunar calendar that the Hebrews used to identify Passover, the reason it’s a movable feast. The festival can be as early as March 22 and be as late as April 15. The next time it will fall on the 22nd of March will be in the year 2285; the last time it happened was in 1818.
- Easter Season lasts for 50 days (7 full weeks) until Pentecost. The first week is known as the Octave of Easter.
- The Christian Sunday mass is a year-round celebration that commemorates the death and resurrection of Christ.