Easter commemorates Jesus' resurrection three days after his crucifixion and death. Following his death, he was removed from the cross and hastily buried in a tomb. On Sunday, it was discovered that Jesus' tomb was empty and angels informed onlookers that Jesus had risen. Throughout the next 40 days, Jesus appears to his apostles and disciples before finally ascending to heaven. Easter is the highest and holiest of holidays in the Christian faith. Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox, usually occurring between March 22 and April 25.
- For many Christian congregations, the first Easter service for the year is the Service of Light. The worship typically starts in darkness on the preceding Saturday night or early Sunday morning. Light is brought into the church with candles to signify hope based on the resurrection. The service culminates with the lighting of a paschal candle, signifying Christ.
- Easter eggs represent new life and also symbolize the shape of Jesus' tomb.
- The colors for Easter are white and gold. Easter lilies are popular decorations in American churches. These white blooms are one of the earliest flowers to bloom in the spring and symbolize beauty, purity, and holiness.
- Easter also signifies the end of Lent, the 40-day period of fasting, preparation, and penitence observed by the faithful.
- Easter season starts on Easter Sunday and lasts 40 days until Pentecost. The date for Easter is determined by the moon. Easter is the Sunday after the first full moon of spring.
Easter Top Events and Things to Do
- Go to a children's Easter egg hunt, or hold one of your own. Many churches have them the Saturday before Easter, too.
- Wear some new clothes to church. This is an ancient tradition that goes back to the early church when newly baptized persons were given a white gown to wear on Easter.
- Attend an Easter parade. The 5th Avenue Easter Parade in Manhattan (New York) is one of the most lavish and famous for extravagant hats worn.
- Cook an Easter dinner for family and friends. Traditional entrees include lamb or ham. During Lent (period leading up to Easter), many Roman Catholics exclude meat from their diet, so Easter is often indulgent on meat.