Easter is a colourful festival celebrated almost everywhere in the world. A classic tradition is the Easter Bunny who hides some Easter eggs and then you need to go on an Easter egg hunt to find them. It’s not always obvious what eggs and a bunny have to do with the traditional story behind Easter. In this article, we will explain why some people celebrate Easter and where the most important traditions come from.
Firstly, we are going to start off with the question what is Easter? Easter has different traditions and it is celebrated around the world. However, this spring festival marks the beginning of spring and it bids farewell to winter. It is a celebration of life, new beginnings and fertility. We have compiled a list below of the different Easter traditions:
Even in ancient times people celebrated annual festivals to mark the beginning of spring. With dances, songs and offerings to the gods, they welcomed spring and asked for a rich harvest.
Easter also marks the beginning of the Passover. This festival celebrates the exodus of the Jews from Egypt and the end of slavery, as it was handed down in the Old Testament.
Easter is also a very important time of year for Christianity as it celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The traditions at Easter time come from the Bible and are still influential in how we celebrate Easter today.
Maundy Thursday: traditionally Easter begins on Maundy Thursday as it symbolises the day of the Last Supper. That evening, Jesus Christ was betrayed by his disciple Judas and arrested by the Romans. Maundy Thursday celebrates the Last Supper while at the same time mourns the arrest of Jesus Christ.
Good Friday: the Christian Bible describes Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and death on Good Friday. Christians mourn for Jesus Christ on the Friday before Easter.
Holy Saturday: similar to Good Friday, this is a day of remembrance, sanctifying the burial of Jesus Christ. As the Bible states Jesus Christ rose from the dead in the evening, which marks the beginning of spring and the end of Holy Week.
Easter Sunday: Easter Sunday is the most significant day at Easter as it honours the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It celebrates a new beginning and the new hope that comes with it.
Easter Monday: According to the Bible, Easter Monday commemorates the walk to Emmaus. Two disciples were making their way back to Emmaus when an unknown man joined them. Only when they arrived at Emmaus did the disciples realise that it was Jesus that appeared and travelled with them. They then hurried back to Jerusalem and proclaimed the resurrection.
According to biblical tradition, Jesus Christ was crucified during the Jewish Passover week, and therefore, the Easter feast is aligned with the Passover. Thus it was decided that Easter always takes place one week after the first full moon of spring. Easter sometimes falls as early as the 22nd of March or as late as the 25th of April. Easter begins on the evening of Holy Saturday and lasts for 50 days until Pentecost.
When we think of Easter, we immediately think of children hunting for brightly painted eggs that have been hidden along with small gifts by the Easter Bunny. Where do these traditions originate and why are they so important at Easter? We have listed some of the typical traditions at Easter and answered the most important questions about their origin and meaning.
The Easter Bunny is a relatively modern invention. It was first mentioned in Germany at the end of the 17th century by the professor of medicine Georg Franck. However, the Easter Bunny only became popular in the 19th century with the rise of the chocolate industry, which used the bunny as a symbolic figure for Easter and began to produce chocolate bunnies. Rabbits have always been a symbol of fertility and this fits well with Easter as a celebration of (new) life.
Some countries have their own Easter symbols. Chicks and hens are popular Easter animals. In Sweden children dress up as Easter witches and wish their neighbours a Happy Easter and they also receive some sweets from them.
In many countries, brightly painted or coloured eggs are a large part of Easter celebrations. In many religions the egg is a sign of new life and resurrection and this fits perfectly with the meaning of Easter.
Historically, no meat or eggs were allowed to be eaten during the 40 day fasting period between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. Eggs would be hard-boiled during this time to help to preserve them. The Easter eggs laid during Holy Week were considered particularly sacred and lucky. To distinguish the age of the boiled eggs, they were dyed in different colours.
Since ancient times, sheep have been offered as sacrificial animals to appease the gods. The Easter lamb tradition originates from the Jewish Passover, in which a sheep was slaughtered every year. With its white wool, the lamb stands for purity and as a symbol of life, as it can provide meat, milk and wool for clothing.
The origin of this Easter tradition is linked to pagan beliefs. The spring fire was meant to welcome the new season and attract the sun to enable a rich harvest in the summer. On Holy Saturday, large Easter bonfires are lit, attracting many spectators every year. Nowadays the large fire is intended to symbolically kindle a light of hope on the one hand and to drive away winter on the other.
This relatively modern Easter tradition is especially popular with families with children. Each member of the family chooses an Easter egg. They then compete against each other by smashing the tip of their hard boiled egg against their opponent’s egg. Whoever’s egg is still intact at the end of the game is the winner.
In addition to these Easter traditions, some families have their own traditions at Easter. Many families do handicrafts together over the Easter period and decorate their homes with homemade decorations.
Below you will find some inspiration on how you can get creative over the Easter period.
Easter is the perfect occasion to send kind words to friends and family. In this article you will find craft ideas on how to make your own individual Easter cards.We will also show you some Easter themed poems and sayings that you can use in your Easter cards.
In addition to Easter eggs and small handicrafts, you can finish off a homemade Easter nest for your child with some small gifts. Homemade or personalised Easter gifts are always a great choice. In the following article you will find ideas and inspiration for great Easter gifts for children of all ages.
During the Easter egg hunt children put their Easter eggs and small gifts into a small basket. The baskets can also be used for small gifts for your friends and family. In this article we will show you some craft ideas for Easter baskets and show you how to you can wrap gifts in a child-friendly way.
You don't need to get your loved ones any big gifts to make them happy at Easter. Smaller gifts and homemade gifts are perfect for Easter. If you are still looking for some inspiration on Easter gifts, you will find some helpful tips and craft ideas in the following article to suit every taste.
Are you looking to make some individual homemade Easter decorations? In this article we will show you how to upcycle and make Easter decorations with just a few things. By using neutral, soft colours and natural materials these stylish Easter decorations will get everyone into the Easter spirit and they go well with almost any interior style.
A beautifully decorated table at Easter will get everyone into the Easter spirit. In the following article you will find some creative ideas for Easter table decorations that are simple to make and they will also wow your family and friends.
It is quick and easy to make natural dyes for eggs that are also safe to use. In this article we will show you how to make your own natural dye for Easter eggs and also show you some environmentally friendly alternatives.We have also put some step-by-step instructions together on different Easter egg designs.
During the Easter holidays children can get creative and make some Easter decorations. Crafting is even more fun as a family and together you can create new works of art in no time at all. We have put together some instructions on Easter craft ideas for children. We haveincluded craft ideas for both younger and older children.
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