Happy Easter, everyone! Easter commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the most important Christian festival, and the one celebrated with the greatest joy. Spend the day with family and friends and enjoy the love between each other and with your risen Lord.
Easter [A.S. Eastre, name of a spring goddess], chief Christian feast, commemorating the resurrection of Jesus after his crucifixion. In the West, Easter is celebrated on the Sunday following the full moon next after the vernal equinox (see calendar); thus, it falls between Mar. 22 and Apr. 25. The Orthodox Eastern Church calculates Easter somewhat differently, so that the Orthodox Easter usually comes several weeks after that of the West. Many dates of the Christian calendar are dependent on Easter. For most Christians there is a preparatory period of penitence, beginning (in the West) with Septuagesima Sunday, 17 days before Lent, and ending in Holy Week. With Easter begins the paschal season, liturgically marked with rejoicing; Alleluia is often said, and the paschal candle is set up. The five Sundays of this time begin with Low Sunday. They are followed by Ascension Day (Thursday; see under Ascension) and, 10 days later, by Pentecost. The Sunday after Pentecost is Trinity Sunday. Until Advent the weeks are counted from Pentecost or Trinity. A feature of Roman Catholic life is the Easter duty, by which every member is required to receive communion sometime between Ash Wednesday and Trinity Sunday. Painting and rolling eggs and wearing new clothes are Easter customs; there is no development of social festivities comparable with those of Christmas.
How to celebrate Easter:
- Attend an Easter vigil, when baptisms take place, Alleluias are said for the first time since the beginning of Lent, and the Paschal candle is lit
- Decorate your home and church in white and gold, the colors of Easter
- Wear new clothes to represent a new beginning, especially an Easter bonnet
- Hide decorated Easter eggs for children to find, to represent coming out of the womb/tomb (i.e., Easter's intertwined themes of fertility and resurrection)
- Take part in an Easter egg roll. The White House first hosted one during the administration of Rutherford B. Hayes