It doesn’t seem all that long ago since the Christmas holidays, yet we’ve now already hit Easter! In fairness, it has arrived a lot earlier this year, and Easter Sunday is somewhat early this year on the 1st April! That means it’s been a mad rush for all of us to prepare with eggs, weekends away and the like. Many businesses closed on Thursday and employees are enjoying a long weekend before returning to the office next Tuesday, but before you head back, we thought we’d educate you on some history…
What is Easter?
Religiously speaking, it is a Christian celebration that marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter is the oldest and most important festival of the Christian Church and takes place from the Good Friday to the Easter Monday. Easter Sunday falls in between.
It is believed that the first instance of the festival took place on A.D 325.
Why does Easter fall at different times every year?
Easter always falls on a Sunday between the 22nd March and the 25th April, though the reason why it varies so extensively is because its related to the March equinox. Jesus held the last supper on the night of the Jewish festival of Passover, died the next day on Good Friday and rose again two days later on Easter Sunday. The beginning of Passover is determined by the first full moon after the vernal equinox, which can occur on any day of the week depending on the time zone.
As the full moon can vary in each time zone, the Church said that they would use the 14th day of the lunar month instead – the Paschal Full Moon – and host Easter Day on the following Sunday. Once the date is known, Easter Sunday and related holiday can then be determined.
The fact that the event is so early this year has taken many people by surprise. Last year the event fell on the 16th April, though this year isn’t the first time that it has fell so early. Back in 2007, Easter Sunday was as early as the 23rd March and there have been further instances of it falling at the end of March, with the most recent being only two years ago.
The traditions of Easter!
There are a couple of traditions centralised around the festival. In fact, many non-Christians choose to observe these traditions and ignore the religious occasion! Easter eggs are a common symbol, and its traditions stem from fertility and birth in certain pagan traditions that pre-date Christianity. Many people, usually children, also participate in egg hunts and enjoy chocolate eggs.
In addition, the Easter Bunny has long been a fun-filled symbol of the Easter holidays. In similar fashion to Santa Claus at Christmas, the Easter Bunny delivers gifts on Easter morning, often in an Easter basket. The exact origins of the Easter bunny are unknown, though many people believe that it stems from the America in the 1700’s.
What are you doing this Easter?
Easter is a fantastic occasion that can be enjoyed by all. Whether you’re going away or staying at home with family, why not tell us?