Easter 2016

Easter, which is also known as Resurrection Day, is one of the most important festivals of Christians all over the world. Easter celebrates Jesus Christ's resurrection which happened on the third day of his crucifiction.

Easter, which is not celebrated on a fixed date every year, is observed on a Sunday between March and April according to Western Christianity while Eastern Christianity observes it between April and May. The date of Easter is decided by Lunar Calendar and not Gregorian or Julian calendar.

Western Christians begin the festivities from Saturday night by lighting a large candle, which symbolizes the resurrection of the Christ. Then Easter Proclamation is chanted which is followed by readings of Old Testament and singing the proclamation of Gospel of Resurrection. The service concludes with a sermon. On the day of Easter, festive elements like special flower decorations and festive music is included into the usual Sunday service.

Easter Day 2011Eastern Christians start the festivities with "anti-celebration of Great Lent" in which they observe fast, give alms to the poor and pray. They reduce non-essential activities and entertainment till Great Friday. On Holy Saturday or the day before Easter, all lights are put off at 2300 hours. A new candle or flame is lit which is then used to light candles in the hands of the devotees.

After all the candles are lit, the priest takes out a procession along with all the devotees, holding the candles in their hand. The procession re-enters the church at 0000 hours. Matins start which is followed by Paschal Hours and Divine Liturgy. Then a grand feast is held for all the members of the congregation.

On Easter day, a part of Gospel of John is read by the priest and devotees in different languages.

Easter eggs are a prominent part of the Easter traditions associated with the festival. In the United States, Australia and some parts of UK, Easter eggs are decorated by children and adults, which are later hidden in the house by adults on Holy Saturday. Children have to find all the Easter eggs on the Easter after which they are given Easter breakfast containing gifts and treats for them.

Holy Easter Saturday:

Holy Saturday is the day preceding Easter. Anglicans call it Easter Eve or Low Saturday, Filipinos call it Black Saturday while Christians in Czech Republic and Slovakia call it White Saturday may be because those who are baptized wear white garments.

Mass is neither held on Holy Saturday or the day before i.e. Good Friday. Altars in most of the churches on this day are colored black. Holy Saturday is observed till dusk. After the dusk, the celebrations for the festival of Easter begin in all the churches which go till late in the night.

FAQ’s on Easter Celebrations from Pagan’s and non Pagan’s

Is Easter a Christian or Pagan Holiday?

Easter is considered to be a Christian holiday rather than considering it as a Pagan Holiday. The history stands as the stage was set to celebrate the rise of Jesus and start of a new life in the world. At this point of time we can find the growth of new leaves coming out from the tree after the spring.

Pagan is meant to describe the people who take part in other religious activities.

What is the point in non-christians celebrating Easter?

Easter is celebrated as the reason to bring family together to enjoy food and spend some time with kids. The easter brings you the joy of sharing Easter baskets that contain chocolate eggs as a gift among one others.

Do Muslims Celebrate Easter and Christmas?

Muslims do not celebrate Easter and Christmas. They consider, if a person who even participates in the rituals are considered or treated as non Muslims and their exchange of religion. Few people consider of not visiting houses a month before as well as after celebrations of the Easter and Christmas.

How Do Atheists Celebrate Easter?

Atheists do not celebrate Easter as they oppose the celebrations of Easter and Christmas. The Atheists are the people who used to be christians and stopped following the rituals of Christians. Few people who used to be christians, celebrate easter for children by encouraging them to find Chocolate eggs placed around.

Why Do Non-Christians Celebrate Easter?

Non Christians consider the Easter as the season of reproduction ones considered by Goddess Ostara. The celebrations of Easter by Non Christians are different from what happens in the home of Christians. The Christians consider the non Christians who celebrate the Easter as Witches or Wiccans. The non Christians celebrate Easter in the form of Spring feast which they refer to as Ostara.

Are Holidays like Christmas and Easter pagan or Christian?

It would be offensive of considering the Christmas and Easter as pagan Holidays to all Christians. This depends on the individual, Non Christian consider it to be an Pagan holidays and have hands on ability to get on with the celebrations, gifts and holidays. Though considering the name Easter which originated from the spring goddess Ostara and been celebrated by Christians.

What are non-religious Easter books for kids?

The best non religious Easter books for kids are

  1. Happy Easter, Mouse by Laura Numeroff
  2. The Best Easter Hunt Ever by John Speirs
  3. The Night Before Easter by Natasha Wing
  4. Happy Easter, Curious George by H.A Rey
  5. Fancy Nancy’s Elegant Easter by Jane O’Connor