Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox.
Origins of Easter
The holiday known as Easter is when Christians celebrate the rising of Jesus Christ from the grave. It celebrates the story of how Jesus Christ took on the sins of the world, and gave his life for those that are willing to accept the gift of eternal life. Although it is the story of how Jesus died on the cross, the Easter story isn't just about his death.
It is about how Jesus promised that he would rise again on the third day to show the world that he paid the price for their sins, and ascend to heaven. His purpose was to die and rise again, thereby absolving believers of their sins.
Many people are unaware of the fact that Easter is a combination of both Christian and pagan beliefs. Tradition has it, that Eostre, the goddess of Spring was accompanied by a hare. During Springtime, many animals give birth, and rabbits are the most fertile animals known.
Since spring is a celebration of rebirth and new life, pagan families used to tell their children that a magic hare would come deliver gifts to them on this special day. The "magic hare" would deliver secret gifts symbolic of new life, like hand painted eggs.
In Germany children would put nests of grass in their yard, believing that the Easter bunny would drop off colorful eggs and candy in their "baskets." The origin of the Easter bunny in America began as German settlers moved here and brought their traditions with them.
Whether you're Christian or not, Easter is when family gets together. That's what it should be about. For most people, Easter is a time for children to hunt for brightly colored eggs and baskets full of candy, for going to church in elaborate Easter bonnets, and for eating a traditional meal.
What to Do on Easter?
The Easter Parade is an annual event held in the New York City, which ends in front of the St. Patrick's Cathedral, where most people attending the Easter Parade will attend the services held that day.
At the parade, you will be able to admire different types of costumes and the beautiful Easter Bonnets, which is in fact the attraction of that day. You can also enjoy different types of Easter dishes made especially for the parade festivities.
For over a hundred years, children have gathered on the South Lawn of the White House on the Monday after Easter to roll Easter eggs across the yard and meet the Easter Bunny. Local artists created the decorated eggs for the Easter 2006 egg roll, which represented each state and the District of Columbia.
The Easter 2006 egg collection continues the tradition that began in 1994, where each state sends a decorated egg to the White House for display. The collection is coordinated by the American Egg Board, and each egg is truly astounding in its decoration!
Colored Eggs and Easter Egg Hunts
One of the most well known pastimes of Easter is the painting of Easter eggs. To color eggs you can hard boil them, or blow out the eggs using a needle to poke a small hole in the narrow end of the egg, and then add a slightly larger hole in the other end.
Then, holding the egg over a bowl, blow through the small hole, and the egg will be forced out the larger hole and into the bowl. Just rinse with cold water and dye. In bowls, combine food coloring and water with a teaspoon of vinegar, or buy an Easter egg decorating kit that comes complete with everything you need to decorate Easter eggs.
When it comes to Easter for kids, no Easter is complete without an Easter egg hunt. You can hide the eggs in the house or in the yard and let the kids to go look for them. You want to hide the eggs where the kids can find them, but you don't want to make it too easy.
Another alternative for the Easter egg hunt is to use plastic eggs. You can fill the eggs with candy, money, trinkets, toys, or whatever else you choose. The beauty of having the plastic eggs is that the kids never know what they're going to find in their eggs on their Easter egg hunt.
If you have a house full of adult guests, try this variation: Use the same little plastic eggs scattered all over the yard, only each of the eggs will contain a small piece of paper with a number. The numbers match numbered presents waiting nearby.
Easter, just like any other festivity, is a time of joy and celebrations where sharing and giving is on the top of the list. Getting together on Easter, celebrating, laughing, and having fun makes for a very happy Easter.
About the Author
Steve Dolan is part of a large family that finds time to celebrate every holiday. Find more ideas for fun Easter celebrations at Easter Holiday. If you like to do crafts for the holidays visit Holiday Crafts for more ideas.
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