Facts you might not know about Easter’s origins

Easter eggs and the Easter bunny are synonymous with Easter.

POLOKWANE – Easter eggs and bunnies have been visible in many stores for a while now with almost everyone looking forward to the Easter weekend.
Review found some interesting facts concerning Easter and its traditions:
1. Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ in the Christian religion. Easter Sunday is one of the most festive events among Christians worldwide. Easter Sunday commemorates Jesus’ resurrection from death.
2. In ancient times, eggs have been seen as a symbol of fertility.
3. The first chocolate eggs were made in Europe in the early 19th century.
4. Egg dyes were once made from natural items such as onion peels, tree bark, flower petals, and juices.
5. The first story of a rabbit, later named the Easter Bunny, hiding eggs in a garden, was published in 1680.
6. A bunny is a sign of fertility.
7. Easter takes place on a Sunday, after the 40-day period called Lent, that refers to a time of fasting.
8. Holy Week is celebrated during the week leading up to Easter.
It begins on Palm Sunday, continues on to Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and then finally, Easter Sunday.
Maundry is derived from the Latin word for command and refers to the command that Jesus gave His disciples, to love and serve one another.
Why does Easter move around so much?
According to The Economist the dates for Easter can vary by more than a month, between 22 March and 25 April.
According to the Bible, Jesus held the Last Supper with His disciples on the night of the Jewish festival of Passover and died the next day, which is Good Friday.
He rose again on the third day, the following Sunday. The beginning of Passover is determined by the first full moon after the vernal (spring) equinox, which can occur on any day of the week.
To ensure that Easter occurs on a Sunday, the Council of Nicaea therefore ruled in 325AD that Easter would be celebrated on the Sunday after the first full moon on, or after, the vernal equinox.
There have been various proposals to change the way the date of Easter is calculated.
At a meeting held in Aleppo in 1997, representatives of several churches proposed that a new system be adopted from 2001, relying on actual astronomical observations, rather than tables, to define the dates of the vernal equinox and the full moon. But the proposal was not adopted.
maretha@nmgroup.co.za

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  AUTHOR
Maretha Swanepoel
Journalist

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