Like Christmas, Easter is a very important festival in Israel. Christians celebrate this festival with great enthusiasm. Easter in Israel is celebrated to mark the resurrection of Jesus Christ after he was crucified. Easter is celebrated after 40 days of Lent. This festival is highly regarded by all Christians in the community.
Christians consider Easter to be as one of the most holy festivals. After fasting for 40 days, it’s time to feast on all the delicacies. People of Israel celebrate and follow their old traditions. Easter in Israel has a lot of importance as Christians somewhere have a connection with the Jewish culture.
Jews celebrate the festival of Passover which started from the captivity of Jews in Egypt. Therefore this day was closely related to Easter. In Hebrew the word Pesach meant Passover and this came to be known as Easter.
Jerusalem is known as the Holy Land where hundreds of Christian worshippers come every year. People come to Jerusalem to celebrate Easter which is considered to be a big feast. Many pilgrims come to see the Easter sunrise and attend the service at the garden tomb in Jerusalem. After this the Easter mass is held at the ancient Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. It is known to be the walled Old City.
Many monks and priests wearing white robes chant prayers and liturgy. The priests light incense sticks and the fragrance is spread everywhere. It is believed by the Christians that, this is the place where Jesus rose from the dead.
There is a little difference between Messianic Jews and Orthodox Jews in celebrating Easter. The Orthodox Jews celebrate the Passover and do not believe that Jesus Christ was the Messiah who was sent from God. This is the reason why they do not celebrate the Crucifixion or resurrection. The Messianic Jews celebrate Easter like other Christians in the world.
Easter in Israel is a time when many processions are held. All these processions follow the path to where Jesus Christ travelled to Golgotha. This path is referred as ‘Twelve Stations’ of the Cross. This procession includes many tourists who come from all over the world. Being a part of this procession is known to be a holy practice for Christians. Therefore, thousands of people are a part of it. This procession is then gathered at the holy tomb of Jesus Christ.
On Easter Sunday at one o’clock, the church head goes to the tomb of Jesus. The doors are shut after him and the entire city’s lights are switched off. After this the church bells ring and the church head comes with a burning torch. This torch is considered to be very holy as it is believed to be lit on its own without an external source. People one by one light their candles from this holy flame and brighten the church premises.
Easter in Israel holds a very special religious importance that celebrating or feasting. It is from here that people start their actual celebration.