With Christians around the world celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ this Sunday, Breakingnews.co.ke lists down the top 4 things you didn’t know about the Easter Holiday.
4. It was never a Christian holiday from the beginning
Scholars believe that the Easter holiday was named after a festival celebrating Eostre and the coming of the spring season. Eostre is the Germanic goddess of fertility who was believed to bless the land which would produce a surplus harvest. Her sacred symbols are thought to have been the hare and the egg. This explains the whole Easter bunny concept.
Eggs were part of the celebration of Eostre. Apparently eggs were eaten at the festival and also possibly buried in the ground to encourage fertility. Christians, however, believe that Easter eggs symbolize new life and resurrection.
It is said that some Christian missionaries hoped that celebrating Christian holy days at the same times as pagan festivals would encourage conversion.
You can read more about the Easter holiday origin here.
3. Easter Holiday Dates Change Every Year
The main reason for this is because the Roman Catholic Church determines the date on a lunisolar calendar. The lunar year consists of 30-day and 29-day lunar months, generally alternating, with an embolismic month added periodically to bring the lunar cycle into line with the solar cycle. In each solar year (1 January to 31 December inclusive), the lunar month beginning with an ecclesiastical new moon falling in the 29-day period from 8 March to 5 April inclusive is designated as the paschal lunar month for that year.
This, however, does not accurately represent the dates of Passover according to Jewish tradition making the Easter holiday a subject of controversy over the years.
2. Buying New Clothes in Easter Started in the 1800s
The common practice of Kenyans buying new clothes during the holiday can date back to the mid-1800s. People believed that wearing a new outfit on Easter would ensure them good luck throughout the year. Until today, more and more people keep up the custom.
1. There are two versions of the Easter Holiday
While most Christians have been celebrating the Easter holiday this weekend, the Orthodox Church will celebrate it next week (19th April). This is because of the controversy surrounding the dates set. Events leading up to the Easter holiday are also different.
The Roman Catholic Church starts with Lent, a period of fasting and penitence that begins on Ash Wednesday. This is followed by Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter.
On the other hand, the Orthodox Church begins with the Great Lent which starts on Clean Monday and lasts for 40 days (including Sundays). The last week of Great Lent is called Palm Week and ends with Lazarus Saturday. Palm Sunday follows then comes the Holy Week and finally Easter itself.
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