A History of Easter

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Happy Easter, from us to you!
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This weekend is Easter weekend, a spring holiday that has religious origins but has expanded in many ways to be a secular holiday marking the transition into spring. The day is still celebrated in many religious ways, but the traditions have spread to include many non-religious celebrations, even including a giant bunny that goes around delivering eggs and gifts. So how did this holiday come to be celebrated the way it is today?

As a religious holiday, Easter is a part if a longer celebration.

The day of Easter marks the day that in the Christian faith Jesus Christ was resurrected. The day is the end of a time frame called, the Passion of Christ, in which there are a variety of other noteworthy days over a 40 day period. The period is also known as Lent, in which people commonly fast, sacrifice, and pray more. The Friday before Easter is known as Good Friday. It is the day in which Christianity recognizes the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Often people go to church on Easter Sunday, as well as Good Friday when they are a part of the Christian faith.

Easter is the type of holiday that is not on the same year annually.

The period of the Passion of Christ and Easter Sunday fluctuates year to year. Easter is always a Sunday and always in the spring between March 22 and April 25. It usually occurs on the first Sunday after a full moon or after the spring equinox. This year it is on March 31st.

Many Easter traditions go back to pagan celebrations.

The tradition of Easter eggs and the Easter Bunny are the two most widespread that go back to pagan culture. Easter eggs are said to come from the notion of eggs representing fertility and birth in pagan culture. Since Easter marks a shift into spring, a season that signifies these same things, eggs naturally became a large connection. Egg decorating became a tradition as well with some connection to the religious origins, as it shows Christ’s “rebirth.”

The Easter Bunny is a tradition that has unknown origins. There are different versions of the bunny throughout history from different cultures, so it is likely that the bunny we know today is a version combined from all of them. The version of today is a bit like Santa Claus, as he travels in the night delivering presents in baskets for kids and hiding eggs with more goodies inside, often candies and chocolates.

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