With this being Holy Week, folks around the world are preparing to celebrate Easter – and globally, there are a number of cultural traditions that mark this special time of year.
Easter Sunday is the day Christians celebrate the resurrection of Christ. It’s also a time where families gather for special get-togethers and meals, and the kids can decorate Easter eggs and perhaps most fun for them – search for chocolate Easter eggs and treats on Easter morning delivered by the Easter Bunny.
As to the beginnings of marking Easter, in A.D. 325, the Council of Nicaea set aside a special day just to celebrate the resurrection.
The problem with an official day was deciding whether the resurrection should be celebrated on a weekday or always on a Sunday, noted CrossWalk.com.
Eventually, church fathers opted to make it a Sunday each year.
“Finally the Council decided Easter should be celebrated on the Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox. Since the date of the vernal equinox changed from year to year, calculating the proper date can be difficult. This is still the method used to determine Easter today, which is why some years we have Easter earlier than other years.”
These days, throughout the world, many Easter traditions are similar with only minor differences.
For example, Saturday is traditionally spent decorating Easter eggs, while parents and their children hunt for them with children on Sunday morning, by which time they have been mysteriously hidden all over the house and garden.
As mentioned, many families observe the religious aspects of Easter by attending Sunday Mass or services in the morning and then participating in a feast or party in the afternoon.
Many people also enjoy hot cross buns, spiced buns with a cross on top, which are traditionally associated with Good Friday.
However, they are often now eaten well before and after Good Friday, and for some, all year-long.
Another interesting tradition exists in the British Isles, with the tradition of rolling decorated eggs down steep hills.
And on a more somber note, in the Republic of Ireland (officially) and in Northern Ireland it is also a day of remembrance for the men and women who died in the Easter Rising which began on Easter Monday 1916.
However you view this time of year, our warm wishes go out to our readers for a happy and blessed Easter weekend.