Easter is considered as one of the most auspicious days for the Christian community. The day marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This year, Easter is being celebrated on April 4, 2021.
History and Significance
According to the New Testament of the Bible, Easter is believed to have occurred three days after Jesus Christ was crucified by the Romans and died in roughly 30 AD. Jesus was crucified on the day of Good Friday and buried in a grave after his last supper with his disciples, which is commemorated as Maundy Thursday.
As his followers and disciples mourn his demise, on the third day, when his disciples visited his grave, they found it to be empty. It is this day that marks the triumph of Christ over death and this also makes him the ‘Son of God’.
However, contrary to popular belief, Easter was not always the day that signified Christ’s resurrection. Earlier, it was a pagan celebration that marked the rebirth and the renewal, as it comes during the spring season. As a pagan celebration of early spring, the day honoured Easter, the pagan Saxon goddess.
The change of tradition came when the early missionaries converted the Saxons to Christianity. With that, the meaning of Easter also underwent a change in order to signify the new tradition. The day of the celebration changed and came to be known as Easter.
The traditional rituals of the day in many churches begin with the Easter observance in the late hours of the day before (Holy Saturday) in a religious service called the Easter Vigil. Besides this, other Easter traditions include Easter eggs and related games such as egg rolling and egg decorating.
It is believed that eggs symbolised fertility and birth in certain pagan traditions in pre-date Christianity. Egg decorating may have become part of the Easter celebration in a nod to the religious significance of Easter, i.e., Jesus’ resurrection or rebirth.