Monday, April 3, 2017

Easter’s History

 Easter’s History
                                                      By Guinevere Cote
                                               Edited by Cameryn Stewart

         With the newly arrived springtime after another long winter in Maine, so soon comes warm weather, blooming flowers, breaks and vacations (though it wouldn't hurt for them to come a quicker). Of course, one of the most notable happenings in spring is the holiday Easter. Chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, marshmallow chicks. These are only a few things that the highly commercialized holiday is famous for, making it no surprise that Easter is known as the moveable feast. In fact, Easter is the most successful holiday for candy companies besides Halloween. The holiday is moveable because it, in fact, does not have a set date. Easter falls on a different day every year. So why does this make the holiday special?
    Easter is actually a holy holiday in Christian religion. It is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion. Typically, it falls on the first Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox, which falls on March 21. So, Easter can be anytime from March to April every year. While those who do not hold the Christian religion merely celebrate Easter on a single day, those who do really celebrate for a whole season. Lent is known as the 40 days before Easter Sunday in which Christians fast, representing Jesus’ 40 day battle against temptations by the devil. You may know a common celebration called Mardi Gras, which is celebrated the day before Lent. The week before Easter celebrates the Last Supper, and the 50 days following the holiday mark Jesus’ ascension to heaven.
    Easter’s name’s origins are somewhat unknown. It is mainly believed to come from the goddess Eostre, who in mythology is said to bring about the coming of spring. Easter’s celebrations are said to be meant to please her so that she may let spring come. In other languages and countries, the names for Easter translate to Passover, which is what Jesus traveled to Jerusalem for to celebrate.
    So now that you know where Easter comes from, you might be wondering why on Earth we use traditions like egg decoration and chocolate bunnies to celebrate it, as you won't find them in any Bible. It is believed that the familiar Easter Bunny was brought to America by German immigrants, a tradition that came from their stories of egg-laying rabbits. Children would often make nests for the rabbit to lay its eggs, and in turn would get gifts such as candies and the rabbit’s colored eggs. Thus, egg decorating also became a common activity in preparation for or on Easter. Another origin for Easter eggs is the fact that eggs are forbidden during Lent, and so are decorated and eaten in Easter following fasting. And of course, there are famous Easter parades that have been celebrated since the 1800’s.
    So now you know how Easter has been celebrated for centuries, and how it will be so for many more years. Happy Easter!


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