Hi everyone my name is Hannah and I'm a third year student studying Biomedical Science. I'll be starting my MSc in Data Science and Applied Analytics next year. Outside of university I've really enjoyed teaching myself to crochet over the…
What is Easter Sunday?
Easter Sunday is a Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion on Good Friday. The 40 days before Easter are known as Lent. During this time Christians fast, pray and choose something they really enjoy to ‘give up’, like chocolate, to practice self-discipline. This symbolises the period Jesus entered the desert and was able to resist the temptations of Satan. But how did this translate into chocolate eggs and the easter bunny? This article will aim to summarize the Easter holiday and give a round-up on all its aspects!
When is Easter typically celebrated and what are the meanings behind each day?
Easter varies year to year as it is celebrated on the first Sunday after the full moon, on or after March 21st. The last week of Lent before Easter is known as Holy week. Starting with Palm Sunday, this celebrates the arrival of Jesus into Jerusalem where his followers greeted him by laying down palm branches. As a reminder, churches give out small crosses made from palm leaves to represent his entrance and his death on the cross.
The Last Supper took place on Maundy Thursday. Many Christians celebrate by sharing bread and wine in a church service known as Holy Communion or Mass. Good Friday then follows, known as a day of mourning in church. Christians use this time to remember and appreciate Jesus’s death. His body was then buried in a cave tomb and on Easter Sunday, God raised Jesus from the dead. This is known as the resurrection.
What do Easter eggs represent?
Easter eggs symbolise new life and the resurrection of Jesus, as through death, Christians believe that Jesus overcame sin. Although they’re now made from chocolate and viewed as a springtime treat for everyone regardless of religion, traditionally hard-boiled chicken eggs were painted and hand decorated.
The origins behind the ‘Easter Bunny’
Although there is no direct origin of the Easter bunny, it is said to have originated in Germany where a folkloric hare named “Osterhase” laid colourful eggs. These were given as gifts to good children who made nests and sometimes left carrots for the fabled rabbit. This tradition became national and more commercialised with time until Easter became the holiday it’s known as today.
Eggs and rabbits have long been considered a symbol of new life, change and fertility. Things all associated with Easter and springtime too! Whether you’re religious or not, Easter is the perfect time to celebrate Spring with a spring-clean and reward yourself with a tasty chocolate egg to finish!