3/27/2010

HAPPY EASTER!

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WHAT IS EASTER ?
Easter is the celebration of Jesus Christ's rising from the dead (His Resurrection) after His crucifixion which took place on what we now term Good Friday.
Easter is usually celebrated on the first Sunday after the full moon following the Vernal or Spring Equinox on March 21st. This can be any Sunday between March 22nd and April 25th. It is the most sacred of all the Christian holidays or celebrations.
Christ's return (or rising) from death is called the Resurrection. According to the scriptures, Christ's tomb was empty three days after His death, which is commemorated on Good Friday. His followers saw Him and talked to Him after this. Christians therefore believe that they have the hope of a new life (an everlasting life in Heaven) after their earthly death.


WHAT IS THE HOLY WEEK ?
The Holy week is the last week of Lent. It begins with the observance of Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter Sunday. The name, Palm Sunday originated from Jesus's entry in Jerusalem. The crowd laid carpets of palms on the street for Him. The Last Supper is commemorated on Holy Thursday of special week (often called Maundy Thursday) and Friday is the anniversary of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on the cross. The Lenten season and Holy week end with Easter Sunday (the Resurrection of Jesus Christ).

HOW DID EASTER GET ITS NAME ?
The English name "Easter" is much newer. Before Christianity in early England, the people celebrated the vernal equinox with a feast honoring Eostre, the Pagan goddess of spring. When the early English Christians wanted others to accept Christianity, they decided to use the name Easter for this holiday so that it would match the name of the old spring celebration. This made it more comfortable for other people to accept Christianity. Some believed that the word Easter came from an early German word "eostarun", meaning dawn and white. Newly baptized Christians wore white clothes as a sign of their new life on Easter.


NAMES OF EASTER
Easter was called Pesach by early Christians. It is the Hebrew name for Passover. Today, the name for Easter in many cultures in Europe are similar to the word Pesah. For example :
France -Paques /Spain -Pascua /Italy -Pasqua /Albania -Pashke/ Greece -Pascha /Norway -Paaske /Holland -Pasen /Sweden -Pask


EASTER EGG
As Christianity spread, more familiar traditions, symbols and celebrations of spring were associated with Easter . One of the oldest spring symbols in the world is the egg. The oval shape of the egg was the same shape for a raindrop and a seed. These two were important life-giving elements. The egg itself promises new life as in spring, birds, and many other animals are hatched from eggs. In fact, the Persians, Hindus and Egyptians believed that the world began with a single egg. In ancient China, Rome and Greece, eggs were given as springtime gifts. In Polland and Russia, hours are spent on drawing intricate designs on Easter eggs. In England, members of the royal families gave each other gold-covered eggs as Easter gifts in the middle ages. The most famous Easter egg decorator was Peter Carl Faberge. He designed eggs from gold, silver and other precious gems for kings of Europe and czars of Russia. These eggs are priceless now and can only be found in museums and private collections. In early America, children decorated their eggs by using dyes made from natural materials like fruit and leave coloring.


13 comments:

  1. Remember you can visit, as always, www.history.com to listen to interesting short videos on this topic: Easter.

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  2. Elena de los Cobos4/1/10, 10:31 PM

    I didn´t know the origin of the word Easter. I have found it very interesting. It´s true that most of the religious traditions have to do with paganism, but I like the christian meaning of Easter: Jeuschrist´s Resurrection. When I was a little girl, my family used to hide the chocolate Easter egg. I loved looking for it on Easter Sunday. I´m not so fond of chocolate, but searching the egg was real fun.

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  3. What interesting topic Lucía!!! I didn't know where the word easter come from and the similarity to Easter names.

    What good luck Elena. In the place where I live, isn't exist the tradition of hidding Easter eggs so when I was a child I hadn't any chocolate egg. For some time now, tradition are changing and I have seen in some shop window of some cake shop, Easter eggs but, as far as I know, eggs isn't hidden.

    By the way Lucía, I think that there is a mistake in the firts paragraph because the Resurrection is commemorated on Easter Sunday as you say in the following paragraph. I hope you don't get annoyed with me.

    Cheers,
    Cristina González.

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  4. No Cristina, I won't be angry at you! They are not my words but Kiddyhouse's.
    But I don't really understand what you mean. Could you be more specific (line or sentence, or so), please?

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  5. Elena de los Cobos4/2/10, 10:57 PM

    Hello Cristina: Maybe I´m wrong, but what I understand is that after the Good Friday(today) the resurrection takes place, so for me it´s O.K what it´s written. On Sunday, Jesuschrist come back to life.

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  6. Hi Lucía, I was wrong about this issue. The mistake is in the word "which". I though that this "which" refered to "his Resurrection" instead of "His crucifixion" in the first three lines: ""Easter is the celebration of Jesus Christ's rising from the dead (His Resurrection) after His crucifixion which took place on what we now term Good Friday".

    Yesterday I read this lines a lot of times and I always understood the same. I read the Bible, looked for information on the internet...

    Really I am very sorry by this misunderstanding.

    By the way, looking for information on the internet I found this web site: http://thestoryofjesus.com/introduction.html It's fantastic because there is text and audio.

    Cheers,
    Cristina González Ángós

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  7. I'm glad this post was useful for you, Elena.
    Cristina, do not worry at all, sometimes that happens to me as well. I'll have a look at that link, thanks for telling us.

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  8. Elena de los Cobos4/4/10, 8:55 PM

    Happy Easter everybody. Cristina, I´m glad you were able to understand the sentence. About the tradition I told you, I don´t really think it has to do with the area. It was my brother in law´s idea. He is very fond of children and when my sister got married I was only eight years old. That´s why he started to hiding the chocolate eggs. Just for fun.I will have a look to the page you said too.Thank you to share it with us.

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  9. The other day I had a funny conversation, a friend of mine told me that she was a little bit confused with the religious celebration. Easter was the celebration of Jesus Christ's rising from the dead, that was clear for her, but when thinking in any anniversary, a birthday for example, she told me that they always take place in the same day. What was happening with Easter then?, didn´t he raised in a fixed day?, why do we have to change every year?.
    I gave her my own opinion; however, I want to know yours.
    So, I leave you all to answer to my friend…
    Marisa Gordillo Cavacasillas. Uned Mérida

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  10. Marisa has porposed a very interesting question...any answers? Hmmmmm! Are you all studying...??? ;-)

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  11. I have read that it is because it doesn't applies to the solar calendar, but the lunar calendar.
    Easter was originally Jewish, and they (the Jewish)were governed by lunar cycles, which do not coincide with the solar calendar that the church imposed later.
    For this reason, the differencies of cicles (lunar calendar has 28 days and solar calendar 30 days) it doesn't match the same day because It has to match with the full moon, and it doesn't coincide with the calendar we have.
    well, it is really interesting but a little complicated to explain.
    Have anyone more explanations?

    Cheers, Silvia Useros

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  12. I think this is the one!! :-)

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  13. Cristina Tejera6/13/10, 9:58 PM

    Yes, it's very interesting were the name came from (I didn't now abaout it). When I was small, I alsow youse'd to look for easter chocolate eggs at school, and when we lived in Asturias, there was (there is) a very nice tradition, when on monday they do a competition of painted eggs, and the theme is the tipical "horrio" and the people with tipical dresses.

    Cheers, Cristina Tejera

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