Easter Traditions – Easter Eggs, Religious Festivals and Long Weekends

Whether you’re into egg hunts, religious festivals or long weekends abroad, Easter is a great time to get out and enjoy the arrival of Spring.

Feast of Easter

Although Easter is considered a Christian festival, it is said to have many pre-Christian, Pagan traditions. There are plenty of entertaining articles (based on the rituals from myth in folklore) written about the origins of Easter, Easter Bunnies and Easter Eggs, but most of the material can’t be verified.

Some have wondered why the birth of Christ (Christmas) is always celebrated on the same day in December while the date of his crucifixion and resurrection (Easter) are not written in blood; meaning Easter Sunday appears on the calendar from anywhere between March 22nd and April 25th.

325 AD

In an attempt to establish unity within the church and possibly encourage pagans to combine their feast days with those of Christianity, Roman Emperor Constantine I and 318 bishops forming the Council of Nicaea decided in favour of celebrating the resurrection ‘on the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal (Spring) equinox’ (March 21st).

Travel at Easter

Ever since I can remember, I’ve used Easter as an excuse to travel; by extending the four-day weekend into a couple of weeks. Many people have the same idea, so some routes can be extremely crowded; especially if the early Spring weather is glorious.

Holy Week

While Palm Sunday is the week before Easter Sunday, Good Friday is the day that interests Christian pilgrims around the world.

From Israel and Rome, to the Americas and Asia, it is Jesus’ last journey that is re-enacted. The narrow streets of Old Jerusalem can get rather crowded as pilgrims try to follow in the last steps of their saviour.

The Stations of the Cross

1. Jesus is condemned.
2. Jesus carries his cross.
3. Jesus falls.
4. Jesus meets his mother.
5. Simon helps Jesus.
6. Veronica helps Jesus.
7. Jesus falls again.
8. Jesus consoles the women.
9. The third fall.
10. Jesus is stripped.
11. Jesus is crucified.
12. Jesus dies.
13. Jesus is taken down.
14. Jesus is buried.

For some reason, Easter in Israel didn’t move me as much as Easter in Asia or Easter in South America.

Religious Festivals at Easter

I guess I can feel lucky to have walked on the soil where the great events of our history have taken place but I felt more privileged to witness people on other continents showing their faith with passion.

Holy Week in The Philippines:
While there are many religious festivals around the world on Good Friday, the crucifixions in The Philippines have to be seen to be believed.

Easter in Guatemala:
Antigua, the capital of Guatemala, is not just famous for Spanish-learning in colonial surroundings; it’s also the scene of a colourful spectacle at Easter.

Easter Sundays – 2011 to 2022

24th April 2011; 8th April 2012; 31st March 2013; 20th April 2014; 5th April 2015; 27th March 2016; 16th April 2017; 1st April 2018; 21st April 2019; 12th April 2020; 4th April 2021; 17th April 2022.

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Useful Wikipedia Links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_customs

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_controversy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronology_of_Jesus

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crucifixion_of_Jesus

Church of the Holy Sepulchre
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_the_Holy_Sepulchre