Showing posts with label Easter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Easter. Show all posts

Sunday, April 1, 2018

The Days of Easter

Resurrection - Photo: Pixabay
Lent is a forty-six day penitence season that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday.  It is symbolic of the forty days Jesus spent out in the wilderness before his ministry. 

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent and gets its name from the practice of placing ashes on the foreheads of the faithful to remind them of the dust we all return to once we die.

Palm Sunday is one week before Easter and celebrates Jesus' entry into Jerusalem.  This begins the Holy Week.  Maundy Thursday signifies the Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples.  Good Friday represents the crucifixion, and Easter Sunday celebrates Jesus' resurrection and ascent to heaven.  

Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday are known as the Easter Triduum or Three Days.

Holy Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday, is when some churches start their celebration of Easter very late in the evening at service called the Easter Vigil.  All lights are extinguished, and a single flame is brought into the pulpit by the minister who takes his flame and lights all the other candles with it.  In some churches, it is customary to share a meal after the lighting of the candles.
Eastertide, or the season of Easter, starts on Easter Sunday and lasts until seven weeks later on the Days of Pentecost.

Easter Sunday is usually celebrated with a sunrise service and highly festive music with brass instruments.  The pulpit of the church is adorned with many Easter Lilies.  Easter Sunday should be that Sunday that follows the first full moon after the first day of spring or the Vernal Equinox.

More importantly, we celebrate these days to relive Jesus' last days:  The Last Supper, The Cross, and His Resurrection into heaven.  

Sunday, April 16, 2017

EASTER Around the Globe

In America, we have the Easter Bunny, Easter tree, all the candy and the eggs.  What about other nations?  Do they celebrate Easter too?

Easter eggs
Easter eggs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Scotland children hard boil eggs and paint them on Easter Saturday.  On Easter Sunday, they take the eggs to the top of a tall hill and have a race to see whose egg would get to the bottom first.

Hungarian kids trade hard boiled eggs and then see who can be the first to throw a coin into the egg.  It must stay in the egg and not just chip off the side of the shell.  Pennies and dimes work the best.

Bulgarians crack eggs after midnight on Easter Sunday.  The first one is cracked against the church wall, then everyone chooses their own egg.  Each egg is cracked against another person's egg and the one left with an unbroken egg will receive a year of good luck.

The Greeks have a unique tradition.  Everyone gathers at the midnight service and all the lights in the church are turned off.  A priest comes in the church doors with a lighted candle and goes to the front pew and lights one person's candle.  In turn, the one candle lights the rest of the candles in the church.  This represents the Light of the Resurrection and everyone receives it.

Polish Easter eggs, see also Pisanka (Polish)
Polish Easter eggs, (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In Poland, the Easter basket is the highlight of the day.  The older family members make them for the younger ones.  They are filled with Easter eggs, homemade bread, ham, butter lamb, and Polish sausages.

The Finnish greet their friend and family by whisking them with small willow twigs.  This is done to wish them luck in the following year.  Everyone had a turn and then on Easter Sunday, they would exchange eggs, candies, or money to repay the favor.

There are many more traditions, but they are all done to honor the resurrection of Christ and celebrate his return to heaven.