SUNDAY, MARCH 31: Raise the lights, ring the church bells and joyously sing “Alleluia”—it’s Easter!
Western Christians the world over revel in the resurrection of Jesus, rejoicing in the promise of new life. Following the solemn 40-day reflections of Lent and the Easter Triduum—Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday—Christians awaken to a new day. Donning their finest frocks in pastel colors, more than a billion men, women and children head to church for the festive Easter service, which often showcases shining brass instruments and rows of blossoming Easter lilies. (Wikipedia has details.)
Across the United States, it’s a holiday of family reunions, feasting and even parades in some communities. Hosting your own Easter brunch or dinner? Find recipes at Food Network and AllRecipes, or get DIY table-setting tips from HGTV. Martha Stewart also serves up tasty spring ideas on her website, and kids can get involved with help from Kaboose. Young and old can wow an Easter crowd with the slew of ideas for edible Easter nests from Huffington Post.
THE SYMBOL OF THE EASTER EGG
The Easter egg shines with spring symbolism, and even ancient civilizations associated the egg with new beginnings. Today, children around the globe search for hidden eggs on or near Easter, and decorating those eggs can be as simple or elaborate as the artist allows. In the UK, the Guardian holds an annual contest for the most beautifully decorated Easter egg. International chocolatiers mold sweet concoctions in the shape of delicate eggs. (Get inspired from the UK Metro’s list of 12 most opulent confectionery eggs, which includes a chocolate “night sky” egg that fetches north of $200.) Vienna, Austria hosts a whole heap of traditional Easter markets every year, from the market at Schonbrunn Palace that gathers 60 exhibitors and features a marzipan Easter Bunny workshop, to the Old Vienna Easter Market at the Freyung that piles up the largest mountain of Easter eggs in Europe every year.
THE EASTERN CHRISTIAN EASTER
Eastern Christians began their Lenten season just two weeks ago, on March 18. Eastern Orthodox devotees will mark Pascha (Easter) on May 5th this year.