Celebrate Easter 2022: When is Easter 2022? History, Significance and Celebrations

Easter is considered one of the most auspicious days for the Christian community. The day marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 


After the somber observance of the Holy Week marking the events that led to his arrest and crucifixion in Jerusalem, Christians commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ by celebrating the Easter festival on the first Sunday after the first full moon of spring. This means there is no fixed date for Easter and it can be celebrated from March 22 to April 25. This year, the festival is being celebrated on April 17.

EASTER: 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’.
Celebrate Easter 2022: When is Easter 2022? History, Significance and Celebrations
Celebrate Easter 2022: When is Easter 2022? History, Significance and Celebrations
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.

EASTER: CELEBRATIONS

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.

EASTER EGGS AND BUNNIES

European ‘Pagans’ considered eggs to be symbols of fertility and regeneration much before the advent of Christianity, and celebrated Easter as a spring festival. However, after the Saxons converted to Christianity, Easter gradually came to be associated with the resurrection of Jesus.

The roots of many of the Easter traditions can thus be traced to non-Christian and even pagan or non-religious celebrations. These include Easter eggs, and related games such as rolling and decorating eggs.

The Easter Bunny (also called the Easter Rabbit or Easter Hare) is depicted as a rabbit bringing Easter eggs. Like Easter eggs, it owes its origin to the rabbits and hares considered to be symbols of fertility.
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The Easter dinner of lamb also has historical roots, since a lamb was often used as a sacrificial animal and the phrase “lamb of God” is often used to refer to Jesus due to the sacrificial nature of his death.

Today, Easter is marked by exchange of greeting cards, chocolate eggs, chocolate Easter bunnies and other gifts.

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