Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the spring equinox. The Council of Nicaea established this formula in 325 A.D. It continues to be used as the standard in Western Christianity into the 21st century.
The season of Lent starts 40 days before Easter, beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter for most denominations. For Eastern Orthodox churches, Lent begins on Clean Monday, around 40 days before Palm Sunday, which is the last Sunday before Easter.
A variety of businesses are open on Easter Sunday for dining and last-minute shopping. As of 2014, these typically include major restaurants, such as Denny's, Applebee's, Olive Garden and T.G.I. Friday's, and big-box retailers, including Walmart and Super Walmart. Many major grocery stores and fast food restaurants remain open as well.
Though the central message is the same across different Christian cultural traditions, the specific ceremonies and celebrations may vary across cultures, from the candy and egg hunts held throughout the United States to the countryside vacations favored by many Swedish people. In many ways, Easter is the most theologically significant Christian holiday as it celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his execution by crucifixion. This resurrection represents Jesus' holy qualities and is believed to prove that he is in fact the son of a God powerful enough to bring his only son back to life.
There is no specific legend that states where the Easter Bunny lives. In fact, this location is rarely mentioned at all when the Easter Bunny is discussed. Parents are left to their own devices when answering the question of the Easter Bunny's address.
In the context of Easter, egg rolling is a traditional activity that can be carried out like a game; participants typically race to see who can push their egg the farthest in the shortest amount of time. This is traditionally an event in which children, not adults, are welcome to participate.
The history of the Easter bunny begins with Norse mythology and the goddess Eastre. Eastre is associated with fertility and spring celebration, which Christian missionaries altered into religious traditions spread to the United States by German immigrants.
In the United States of America, Easter is not a federal holiday. Easter is a holiday celebrated primarily by Christians, the largest religious group in the United States. Therefore, although it is not legally recognized, it is celebrated by the vast majority of Americans.
Easter is a Christian religious holiday that celebrates and commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christians believe, as a central tenet of their faith, that three days after his crucifixion and death, Jesus Christ rose from the dead as proof that he was the son of God.
Jews do not celebrate Easter. The holiday is recognized by Christians as an event emphasizing the role of Jesus as the messiah. Since Jews dispute claims that Jesus was the messiah, they do not celebrate Easter; however, the major Jewish holiday of Passover often coincides with Easter for historical reasons.
One popular technique for dying Easter eggs is to combine approximately 1 teaspoon of vinegar and 20 drops of food coloring in 1 cup of hot water. The hot water container, a small bowl or a cup, must be deep enough to submerge an egg completely. Using tongs, dip a hard-boiled egg into the solution. Vary the dipping times to create different tints and darker hues.
The general iconography of bunnies and chicks, particularly the Easter Bunny, associated with Easter has roots in paganism and the celebration of spring and fertility. It was later incorporated into the Christian tradition of remembering the day that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, which is also celebrated in spring.
For Catholics, Lent is the 40-day preparation period before Easter. During Lent, many Catholics participate in prayer, sacrifice, good deeds and some form of fasting. Lent lasts 40 days because Jesus Christ fasted and prayed in the desert for 40 days before he began preaching publicly.
Although there are many ways to make Easter eggs, one method is to dip boiled eggs into food coloring. You need a large pan, eggs, several coffee cups, food coloring, vinegar, water, a spoon, and an egg holder or paper towel./
The roots of Easter are pagan. Many religions have similar celebrations near the vernal equinox built upon the motif of death and resurrection. Life triumphs over death and light triumphs over dark.
Easter bilbies are seasonal Australian chocolate candies that are similar to Easter bunnies, only depicting the form of an animal known as a bilby rather than a rabbit. The bilby is an Australian native marsupial that is roughly the same size as a rabbit; prior to European colonization in Australia, bilbies were relatively abundant, but Europeans brought with them non-native predators and competitors such as foxes and rabbits, causing the bilby to become conservationally threatened. Conservationists encouraged the replacement of chocolate bunnies with chocolate bilbies for the Easter season as a way of bringing Australians' attention to this native animal's plight.
Ash Wednesday is an official Christian religious holiday that takes place on the day before Lent, a period of fasting and penance; the exact date of Ash Wednesday varies from year to year, though it does occur precisely 40 days before Easter and typically falls in either February or early March. Some people may be seen with ashen crosses inscribed on their foreheads on Ash Wednesday. This ritualistic practice is a part of the religious observance of Ash Wednesday as the start of the Lenten season, with many practitioners attending church services on Ash Wednesday, during which time a priest or other religious leader will mark churchgoers' foreheads with this ashen cross.
Historians believe that the Easter Bunny originated from ancient pagan goddess Eostra, who was symbolized by a hare. Pagans celebrated Eostra during the springtime because she symbolized fertility. The Easter egg as a symbol of new life became closely related to rabbits, known for their bountiful reproduction.
Six steps to plan an Easter celebration are to create games for the children, plan adult activities, create a meal plan, delegate responsibilities, send out invitations and decorate for the celebration. Set aside ample time for the planning and shopping for the event.
Part of the traditional Easter celebrations in Finland includes the practice of children dressing as witches. This practice involves children traveling from door to door in their communities, giving out twigs in exchange for treats.
The date of Easter changes yearly because it is a movable feast that the Christian church calculates to be on the first Sunday after the full moon, known as the Paschal full moon, following the vernal equinox. The equinox is fixed as March 21, so depending on the appearance of the full moon, Easter can fall anywhere between March 22 and April 25.