Easter – The Most Important Religious Festival Of The Christian Faith!
Easter is the most important religious festival of the Christian faith. It not only symbolizes an occasion of renaissance, it also symbolizes new commencements as well as the aura of springtime. As per the Christian belief, Lord Jesus got resurrected, after His death, three days after he was crucified. Christians all over the world, celebrate this event on the Easter Day. This day is preceded by the Good Friday as well as the Maundy Thursday.
The list of events, pertaining to the crucifixion, as well as resurrection of the Lord, diversely inferred to be in between A.D. 26 and 36. Originally, the Easter Season would last for 40 days from Easter till the Ascension Day. These days, however, it lasts for 50 days till Pentecost. Easter is not a festival, which is celebrated on a fixed date, pertaining to the civil calendar. The First Council of Nicaea, (which is widely believed to be the first Ecumenical council of Christian Church) set up the date of Easter, as the first Sunday after full moon subsequent to vernal equinox.
The first week of this season is referred to as Easter Week. Easter also represents end to a season of fasting, prayers, as well as atonement. Due to our fascination with this period, more and more people want to celebrate Easter just like the way, the Victorians celebrated. So, if you too wish to do so, then it would not come up as a surprise to me. The following are some of the characteristics of Easter celebration as per the Victorian period that can be a part of your own Easter celebrations:
Let’s Start With The Origins Of Easter
While we happily buy chocolate Easter bunnies, color eggs and hide them, and fill our Easter baskets, many people are unsure as to the origins of these Easter traditions. Whether you celebrate Easter as a religious holiday or the advent of Spring, or a combination of both, it can be fun to understand the origins and meanings behind these traditions, where some aspects of modern Easter celebrations even pre-date Christianity.
This iconic symbol of Easter, is found everywhere in the spring. Whether made in chocolate, or a fluffy, full-sized costume, the Easter bunny signals the arrival of Easter. Hares and rabbits have long been symbols of fertility, so they have easily become associated with the renewal of life after a long winter. The inclusion of the hare into Easter customs appears to have originated in Germany. It was here where tales were told of an “Easter hare”, who laid eggs for children to find, seems to have originated. German immigrants who came to America(particularly Pennsylvania), were the ones who brought the tradition with them, and spread it to a wider public. These early settlers also baked cakes for Easter in the shape of hares, and may have pioneered the practice of making chocolate bunnies and eggs.
Next to the Easter bunny, the next recognizable symbol of the holiday must be Easter eggs. Historical records show that eggs have been viewed as symbols of new life and fertility through the ages. It is also believed that for this reason, many ancient cultures used eggs during their spring festivals. It is noted that eggs became part of the Easter celebration because they were forbidden during Lent. The eggs that were laid during that time were often boiled, or otherwise preserved. Because of this eggs were a mainstay of Easter meals, and a prized Easter gift for children and servants. There are many different traditions and practices that have formed around Easter eggs. Eggs are also used in various holiday games. These games include: an egg hunt (generally parents hide eggs for children to find), and egg rolls (rolling eggs down a hill for prizes). These traditions live on in modern-day Easter egg hunts, and egg rolls. The most famous egg roll takes place on the White House lawn every year. Different cultures have also used Easter eggs to symbolize various aspects of their beliefs. Orthodox Christians in the Middle East and in Greece, paint eggs bright red to symbolize the blood of Christ. In Armenia, hollow eggs (created by piercing the shell with a needle and blowing out the contents) are decorated with pictures of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and other religious figures. The traditions surrounding Easter eggs are as varied as the cultures that celebrate Easter.
Easter cards were first designed in Victorian England, when a stationer added a greeting to a drawing of a rabbit. The cards exploded in popularity as a way for people to send Easter greetings. According to major card manufacturers, Easter is now the fourth most popular holiday for sending cards, behind Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day.
You may be surprised to learn that this tradition has long-standing origins. Early Christians wore white robes, all through Easter week, after their baptisms. This was meant to indicate their new lives. Those people had already been baptized wore new clothes instead to symbolize their sharing a new life with Christ. In Medieval Europe, churchgoers would take a walk after Easter Mass. This Easter “parade” was led by a crucifix, or the Easter candle. Today in many places around the world, these walks endure as Easter Parades.
Great Easter Decoration Ideas
Easter is on its way and its early this year so be sure you take the proper steps to decorate in style! Whether you are having guests over for a special dinner or event or just want to create a seasonal look around your home for the holidays, you will be able to use these great Easter ideas. You can also tailor or tweak them in any way you see fit to meet your needs.
For many people decorating, the outside of your home can be just as fun as your indoor holiday décor. There are many great ways to decorate for Easter outside. Some commercial products, such as large, blow up Easter bunnies or eggs, can be purchased to decorate outside or you may choose to use your creativity and create your own outdoor scene. You can hang eggs from your tree or place a giant bunny on the lawn. You may decide to go with a religious theme that describes your beliefs of this holiday. It’s all up to you.
When decorating outside for Easter just remember these tips:
1. Be careful of anything that will be damaged with the weather (wind, morning dew, possible rain)
2. Be cautious using real eggs outdoors as animals may be attracted to them
3. Follow safety precautions if using lights or electrical decorations
You can decorate the inside of your home for the season as well. Now is time to pull out those Easter themed wall hangings, pastel streamers, curling ribbon, door banners and other decorations. But you can also get more creative and try:
* Easter decorative candles
* Paper mache eggs decorated in Easter style is a great décor item for any room
* Create an Easter tree with your family
* Make or decorate candles to disperse throughout your home
* Use decorative Easter baskets to place of different tables throughout your home
* Easter or spring flowers brighten up any room
* Create an Easter mobile
Decorating Your Table
For many families, Easter dinner is a big deal. It’s the center of the holiday events so why not have a centerpiece they will make a lasting impression? When decorating your table, the centerpiece can be one of the most important parts of your holiday décor. There are many commercial centerpieces that can be bought and used as décor or you can have fun and create your own. A basket full of hand decorated eggs is one great idea. Try using eggs that the whole family has decorated together and then display them in your centerpiece at Easter breakfast or dinner.
Other ways to decorate your Easter table are with:
* A homemade Easter tablecloth
* Easter napkin rings
* Flowers on the table or for the centerpieces (Easter lilies are a great choice!)
* Chair decorations
We hope that enjoy some of these decoration ideas, give them a try if they make sense to your own setting.
Easter Gift Ideas For All
There are no special gift items for Easter. You can give anything you wish. Below mentioned ideas are very general, which will give you overview about what you can gift. Read them:
* Shirts or t-shirts are very good gifts for your boyfriend. If you wish, you can even write something over t-shirt to give it a personal touch.
* Please your girlfriend by gifting her jewelry. Jewelry is all-time favorite gift for girls. For Easter, jewelry includes chains, bunny pendants, bunny ear rings, bunny rings, etc.
* If planning to gift something to aged people, like your grandmother and grandfather, then a religious book will do the best trick. It is so because old people have more of a religious bent of mind.
* Gifting a packet full of cookies is one of the best gifts to present on Easter day.
* For kids, toys are the best form of gift. Easter stuffed toys are more appealing and will surely please children. They can be in the form of chicks, bears, bunnies, lambs or any other character.
* Flowers are always best for presenting gift. They are the best way to greet someone. Easter lilies flowers are special for Easter.
* If want to present something simplest, then card is the best option. But, do not forget, a simple card can do wonders. Also, this gift has worked since ages in showcasing love and affection.
* If celebrating Easter with family, then surprise them by presenting a delicious big Easter bunny cake. Cake will add more sweetness to the day.
* Going out with friends or family is also a great way of celebrating Easter. With celebration, outing will also refresh you as a person. Also, you will get quality time to spend with the ones you love. Certainly give this idea a thought.
* Gift baskets do come for Easter. They are the most treasured items on Easter. Treat your friends, relatives and neighbors by gifting them gift baskets on this auspicious occasion.
* Home decorative items can never take you wrong. Right from clocks, flowers, decorative lights, paintings, photo frames, show piece, candles and candle stands, wall hangings, fish aquarium, vases, etc. you can gift anything.
* A packet full of chocolate bunnies serves best gifts to all age people.
These are some of the simple yet best gift ideas for Easter. Easter is approaching fast, thus be ready with your gift and show your love feelings to your near and dear ones.
Now, Time To Party!
If you are not having a formal Easter dinner, why not plan a fun and entertaining Easter day outdoors? You can easily gather a large group of family and friends and have a great time celebrating Easter, all without spending a fortune. Here is my recipe for a simple and memorable Easter afternoon.
1. Gather at a park or someone’s home that has a large yard. Make sure there is enough space for little ones to run around, play games, and collect Easter eggs. Try and pick a central location if possible, to make it convenient for everyone. IF you are hosting this at a park, take their restrooms into consideration- you probably want to make sure they have some.
2. Send out no-fuss invitation that includes all the necessary details. Keep the invites simple by making a flyer-styled invite. Include all the info about the event (when, where, etc). You might want to consider making your time in the middle of the day that way others can still attend their traditional Easter gatherings wither in the morning or evening. If you are inviting a large group (and your EggStravaganza) will be outdoors, It suggested you include a “rain disclosure.” Just type something like “If it rains, the event will be cancelled.” This will prevent you from having to make tons of phone calls Easter morning should the weather not cooperate.
3. Skip the formal dinner and have a potluck instead. You can avoid spending a fortune by not doing everything yourself. Let family and friends know what you’ll provide (like the ham for example), and ask everyone else to bring a side or dessert. You can even note on the flyer for families to bring their own drinks to make it even easier for you.
4. A fun egg hunt! Easter would not be complete without little ones scrambling through the grass in search of plastic eggs. If you have a wide variety of children, consider having two different egg hunts so that the little ones don’t get trampled. Separating the ages will also allow you to make sure little kids get age-appropriate goodies in the eggs as well.
5. Games- Think egg toss, sack races, hula hoop contest…just keep it fun! Make sure to get the adult involved as well, they might be reluctant but they will all end up having a great time. You can even pair up children and adults with games like egg toss or relay races. Make sure to hand out age appropriate prizes after the games are over.
If you plan on making your Easter EggStravaganza an annual event, ask each family to bring with them one package of un-filled Easter eggs. This will allow you to replenish your stock after Easter is over and you will be all set for next year’s fun! You can also get others involved by asking their input on fun and entertaining games and crafts to include.
Happy Easter to you and your family!
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