Easter: A quick review

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Bella Jacob, Writer

Easter falls on April 17th this year, celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the spring equinox. The holiday has Christian roots but has also become popular in secular society for its other elements like the Easter bunny, and Easter eggs. Easter doesn’t fall on any specific day because it depends on the moon.

Easter is a Christian festival and cultural holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the deal. According to The Conversation.com, “The naming of the celebration as ‘Easter’ seems to go back to the name of a pre-Christian goddess in England, Eostre, who was celebrated at beginning of spring.” Easter is celebrated by mainly Christians because it is the day that Jesus arose from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre three days after his death and being put to rest. However, Easter began as a pagan festival celebrating spring in the Northern Hemisphere, long before the advent of Christianity. Carole Cusack, University of Sydney Professor said, “Since pre-historic times, people have celebrated the equinoxes and the solstices as sacred times.” According to usatoday.com, “Easter is celebrated as a joyous holiday because it represents the achievement of the prophecies of the Old Testament and the revelation of God’s salvific plan for all of humankind. In commemorating the Resurrection of Jesus, Easter also celebrates the defeat of death and the hope of salvation.”

People celebrate Easter many ways around the world but generally the weekend begins on Good Friday and ends with Easter Monday. Many Christians go to church on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Lillian Ahlfeld, sixth grader, said her favorite part of the holiday is “Going to church and having an easter egg hunt there.” Easter Sunday is usually celebrated with the giving of chocolate Easter eggs and with chocolate bilbies instead of the traditional chocolate rabbit. Family’s get together and have easter egg hunts, paint eggs, have a brunch, and some families even give easter baskets. Mr. Rob McCoy, seventh grade Language Arts Teacher, said his favorite part of the holiday was, “When Maddie was little, the Easter egg hunt.  Now just getting together.” In Christianity, it’s believed that eggs were a forbidden food during the Lenten season, so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting. Easter Egg Hunting began in America when German immigrants brought their Osterhase tradition to Pennsylvania in the 1700s. It is not fully known why the bunny is associated with Easter however, according to time.com “One theory is that the symbol of the rabbit stems from pagan tradition, specifically the festival of Eostre—a goddess of fertility whose animal symbol was a bunny. Rabbits, known for their energetic breeding, have traditionally symbolized fertility.”

In a poll Highlands Middle school students and staff did they were asked what their favorite Easter activity was. The top four answers were Easter egg hunts, family get togethers, brunch, and egg painting. They were asked if they celebrate Easter and 96.8% said they did and 3.2% said they didn’t. Lela Bach, seventh grader, said, “Pysanka is my favorite part of the holiday, which is when you draw on wax with a kiska then after each layer of wax you dye it to reveal a colorful pattern, then you remove the yolk and use the finished product as decoration.” Easter is celebrated many ways and places around the world but it all comes back to spending the day with family and friends.