In the days before Easter, supermarkets begin to be filled with chocolate eggs and bunnies, and people begin to think about the religious connotations of this holiday.
Many people plan to get together with their family members or friends. But for some individuals, Easter is a rather confusing holiday as it doesn’t have a fixed date. Do you have this and other questions about the origins of this feast? Then read on!
What are the main dates for Easter in 2017?
Good Friday: April 14
Easter Sunday: April 16
Easter Monday: April 17
Why does the date of Easter change every year?
There are many holidays to celebrate in the Christian calendar and most of them are fixed. However, Easter falls on a different date every year. It turns out that fixed holidays follow the sun cycle, used in the traditional calendar. Meanwhile, Easter follows the lunar calendar based on the moon phases. The date is calculated each year. In Western Christianity, it falls on the first Sunday following the first full moon following the Spring Equinox. Therefore, Easter can take place on any Sunday between March 22 and April 25.
Can it change?
We don’t know for sure, but there are efforts to make the date for Easter fixed. The most common request is to make Easter always fall on any date between April 9 and 15 to avoid confusion and inconvenience among the citizens. According to some people, this move can also improve the economy.
Who decided how the date of Easter should be calculated?
In 325 AD, Roman Emperor Constantine gathered Christian bishops to come to an agreement on what the church should teach. It was called the First Council of Nicea. Exactly at this council, it was decided on which day Easter should fall.
What is Easter actually about?
On Easter, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. According to the Christian beliefs, Jesus was crucified on Good Friday and in three days rose again. Before Good Friday, there is Maundy Thursday – the day that marks Jesus’ Last Supper with apostles. The Lent precedes Easter and takes 40 days. It starts on Ash Wednesday and means giving up particular kinds of food. These 40 days are to commemorate the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness.
What does Easter have to do with eggs, bunnies and hot cross buns?
Eggs are the symbol of new life and they signify Jesus’ resurrection. In addition, eggs also symbolize spring and reinvigoration.
The Easter bunny was first mentioned in 17th century German literature. It was known to bring chocolate to the children who behaved well. Later on, the tradition stuck to the celebration of Easter and the bunny became a common symbol of this holiday.
The relation of hot cross buns is very simple. First, the cross signifies the crucifixion, while the spices used to cook it represent the herbs put on Christ’s body. Secondly, buns are scoffed on Good Friday to make the end of the Lent.
Now you know more about Easter and can surprise your friends and family with this knowledge!