The History of Easter

Easter is a religious holiday celebrated by Christians to remember the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It takes place between March 22nd and April 25th in Western Christianity and is one of the cornerstones of the religion. The first celebration of Jesus’ resurrection by many traditional churches is the Easter or Paschal Vigil and is usually held at midnight between Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday. Devotees will also have an Easter feast. Easter's secular and commercial side includes decorating and painting eggs, going on an Easter egg hunt and eating chocolate and candy. However, not all Christian traditions recognize Easter. In this WatchMojo.com video, we learn more about Easter.
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This Christian holiday and festival is known as Pascha in non-English speaking countries. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be learning more about Easter.

Easter


Easter is a religious holiday celebrated by Christians to remember the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Jesus’ Betrayal and Crucifixion


As written in the New Testament of the Bible, Christians believe Jesus was betrayed by his disciple Judas shortly after the Last Supper. Because of this, he was arrested by Temple Guards in the Garden of Gethsemane and crucified by Pontius Pilate over accusations that he claimed to be the Son of God. The day of his crucifixion is commemorated by Christians as a holiday called Good Friday.

Resurrection


After his death, Jesus’ body was wrapped and laid to rest in a tomb by Joseph of Arimathea. His subsequent resurrection is revealed two days later when female visitors discover his empty tomb. It is his rising from the dead that is celebrated as Easter.

Religious Cornerstone


Since Easter falls on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox, it takes place between March 22nd and April 25th in Western Christianity. As Jesus’ resurrection proved to Christians he was truly God’s son and that with faith, they too would be given new life, it is one of the cornerstones of the religion.

Holy Saturday


Preceding Easter Sunday is Holy Saturday, which is the last day of what is known as Holy Week. Holy Saturday marks the end of a time of fasting, self-denial and the repentance of sins called Lent. It also symbolizes the period between Jesus’ death and his resurrection.

Vigil and Mass


The first celebration of Jesus’ resurrection by many traditional churches is the Easter or Paschal Vigil. This important service and mass is usually held at midnight between Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, and includes the blessing of the Paschal candle, the celebration of the sacrament of baptism, the chanting of Alleluia and the Eucharist for Catholics.

Feast


Easter is often celebrated by believers with a feast featuring blessed food, such as lamb, eggs and ham.

Commercialization


Despite its holy significance to Christians, Easter has become quite commercialized. In the 1200s, people started painting hard-boiled eggs, with the egg representing Jesus’ empty tomb. Today, these decorated eggs are sometimes used in Easter egg hunts, though man-made, chocolate eggs are used as well. Every year, the President of the United States invites young children to participate in the White House Easter Egg Roll.

Easter Bunny


It is believed that rabbits were first linked to Easter by European Protestants in the 1600s. This idea has evolved into the figure of the basket-carrying Easter Bunny, who distributes Easter eggs and candies to children.

Easter Monday


Despite its importance in Western and Eastern Christianity, Easter is not celebrated by all Christian groups – some believe there is no biblical basis for the moveable feast. Since Easter Sunday is not necessarily a public holiday in all Christian nations, Easter Monday is sometimes celebrated as one instead.

Easter Season


The 50 days following Easter are known as Eastertide or the Easter Season, which celebrates Jesus’ new life after his resurrection, including his Ascension into heaven.

For some Easter cooking ideas, or for more great historical videos, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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