The annual celebration of the Easter holiday is one of the major events in lives of all religious Christians. While considering the issue of Easter celebration, its peculiarities and traditions, it is significant to mention briefly certain prehistorical motives and facts, preceding the emergence of this feast. Due to the Scripts, after Jesus had crucified himself for the sake of the whole humanity, the act of resurrection has taken place on the third day. According to Christian teachings, exactly this is considered to be the basis of their faith.
The Lord has granted Christians with “a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (Walker, 325). Having made a short glance at the background information, we can move forward to the process and model of Easter celebration. Firstly, we cannot but mention that in different areas and nationalities the process and priority of the Easter holiday were subjected to various modifications. The common feature may only remain the fact, that the holiday does not have a certain date, it may most likely occur “between the 22nd of March and the 25th of April” (Wright, 253). Hence, we can consider the Easter celebration date rather flexible, dependent on Gregorian and Julian calendar differences.
Observations from religious point
It can be inferred, that there exist various differences in celebrating Easter in the world of Eastern and Western Christians. The two latter imply the Orthodoxies, the Catholics, and the Protestants. For the majority of Catholics and Protestants the Easter tradition begins with the Easter Vigil, which takes place on the Holy Saturday.
This occasion is preceded with the lighting of a great Easter fire during a liturgy, which symbolically interprets the Christ, who is rising up from the dead, who proves the God’s will and aspiration for justice. Further the liturgy is led through priests’ readings and telling different biblical stories. Mentioning the tradition of the East world to celebrate Easter, we have to point out, that the word “Pascha” is relevant in this case.
Pascha can not be compared with any other holiday, even Christmas. The Orthodoxies consider the resurrection of the Christ the most important occasion in the whole history of the human race. Generally, the Pascha period starts with a Great Lent, during which not only the consumption of fatty food, but also participation in various entertaining activities, is forbidden. The church celebration of Pascha is also accompanied by Great Liturgy, after which the priest is traditionally blessing the colored Easter eggs and the whole basket of goods.
Observations of Easter customs
Throughout the history of Easter as a holiday, different traditions and customs have appeared. To one of the most popular traditions belongs egg decorating. The attached games Easter eggs may be used at bring joy and elation.
The example may be a situation, when parents hide the eggs, preferably chocolate, all over the house. The children’s mission is to find the eggs, delivered by Rabbit Bunny. A reasonable part of people decides on attending the Sunday Mass in the church. And only hereafter they may start the day with self-prepared roasted meat, mostly lamb, and buns. It is also quite significant to mention, that among the representatives of the Western world, different games, such as for example egg rolling, are popular.
In comparison with the Orthodoxies’ Easter celebration, the Catholics have more entertaining moments in their traditions. However, we can not state, that by this the importance of the feast is diminished. Easter remains a vital part in religious life of all Christians.
Copyright 2002-2010. United States Copyright Office 01 May 2010
2 May 2010
A History of The Christian Church New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1970. Wright N.T. Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, the Mission of Church HarperOne, 2008.