SUNDAY, MARCH 27: Raise the lights, ring the church bells and joyously sing “Alleluia”—it’s Easter! Christians the world over shout in exultation on Easter Sunday, as the faithful celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (Eastern Orthodox Christians will celebrate Pascha, the Orthodox term for Easter, on May 1, this year.)
Western Christians across the globe revel in the Resurrection of Jesus today, 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 clothing in pastel hues, more than 1 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.
Did you know? The week beginning on Easter Sunday is known as Easter Week, or the Octave of Easter.
The New Testament tells Christians that the Resurrection of Christ is the core of their faith, and on this grand day, crowds flow into and out of churches, bells are rung in praise and adherents joyously profess their faith.
THE EMPTY TOMB
Gospel accounts say that early on the Sunday morning following Jesus’ crucifixion, Mary Magdalene (and, though accounts vary, other women as well) traveled to the tomb of Jesus to anoint his body. Upon reaching the tomb, an earthquake shook the ground; the stone was moved from the tomb, and a holy messenger announced that Jesus had risen from the dead. Though no specific moment of Resurrection is recorded, Mary Magdalene’s encounter has, since the 2nd century, been celebrated as Easter. The Resurrection is described as having occurred c. 30 CE.
THE (NOT SO HUMBLE) EASTER EGG
The springtime egg has symbolized the season’s new life since before the life of Jesus, drawing back to ancient civilizations. Nonetheless, the egg holds a place of prominence in many secular Easter traditions. Children around the globe search for hidden eggs, and decorating eggs can range from simple to elaborate—as much as the artist allows. In the UK, the Guardian holds an annual for the most beautifully decorated Easter egg. International chocolatiers mold sweet concoctions in the shape of delicate eggs, with the most exquisite replications selling for hundreds of dollars.
RECIPES & RESOURCES
Looking for a great recipe or ideas to spruce up your Easter table?
Kid-friendly Easter coloring pages, cards, games and more are at the UK’s Activity Village.