Bishwa Nath Singh
Today being Sunday, the 24th of April 2011 the most important day to all of us in our life when we celebrate Easter all over the world with great festivity, devotion and fervor. It is an auspicious day when the resurrection of Jesus had taken place after his crucifixion that is celebrated after forty days period of Lent which is associated with Good Friday Let me hasten to convey my heartiest greetings to all of you living here in India or in abroad!
(Photo of Jesus Christ)
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Bishwa Nath Singh After a forty day period of Lent that is associated with fasting and penance and the prolonged mourning of Good Friday that we had observed on Friday the 22nd of April 2011 during this current year. The christians celebrate Easter with grea...t joy and festivity. Easter is a day of rejoicing for the Christians as they celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his Crucifixion. The origins of Easter date to the beginnings of Christianity, but are not clear how the word 'Easter' came to be. One theory is that it has been coined from the name of the Anglo-Saxon Goddess Eostre, by the Anglo-Saxon priest Venerable Bede in the 8th century Easter usually falls between March 22 and April 25 every year.This year it happens to be today ,i.e. on April 24,2011 during curee Though the Easter is being celebrated by all irrespective of their religion and faith focusing on ancient customs and traditions but it is the most important religious event for Christians who celebrate their belief that Jesus rose from the dead three days after his crucifixion. Easter is just like Christmas being blend of paganism and Christianity. The word Easter is derived from Eostre (also known as Ostara an ancient Anglo-Saxon goddess. She symbolized the rebirth of the day at dawn and the rebirth of life in the spring. The arrival of spring was celebrated all over the world long before the religious meaning became associated with Easter) Now, Easter is being celebrated to rejoice the rebirth of Christ.It is one of the most important holidays especially for Christians who enjoy it.It is the culmination of events during Holy Week beginning with Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday reflects the return of Jesus to Jerusalem. Maundy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper of Christ, and Good Friday remembers the crucifixion of Jesus. Easter Sunday celebrates his resurrection after his death.It falls on the first Sunday on or following the spring Equinox after the full moon. The date has been calculated in this way since 325 AD. It is the time when animals give birth to their offspring. Naturally lambs, chicks, and baby creatures of all kinds are all associated with spring. Since ancient times many cultures have been associated eggs with the universe. They were used in ancient spring festivals to represent the rebirth of life. Easter Sunday mass did not exist in the early church. What is celebrated today as Easter occurred during the night hours preceding dawn on Sunday, the Easter Vigil. In the second century, the Sunday Eucharist was preceded by a vigil service of Scripture readings and psalms. According to the practice of the Roman Catholic church, this vigil consists of the blessing of the new fire (a practice introduced during the early Middle Ages); the lighting of the paschal candle; a service of lessons, called the prophecies; followed by the blessing of the font and baptisms and then the mass of Easter. In a lot of churches, including Protestant churches, the first mass of Easter begins at midnight. Among the Eastern Orthodox and Russian Orthodox churches, the vigil service is preceded by a procession outside the church representing a fruitless search for the body of Christ. Then comes the joyful announcement, "Christ is risen," followed by the Easter Eucharist. When the procession first leaves the church, there are no lights anywhere, but on its return hundreds of candles and colored lamps are lighted to show the splendor of Christ's Resurrection. The connection between baptism and Easter can be traced to the church's first centuries. During this time the whole of Lent was not only a time of penance but also the period during which the catechumens (persons to be baptized) were prepared for baptism, which was given only once a year, at Easter. For the six weeks preceding Easter the catechumens were instructed in the Christian faith. The catechumen ate came to an end with the solemn baptisms of the Easter vigil. This is the explanation of the present practice of the long ceremony of blessing the font on Easter night and of the great emphasis on baptism and its meaning and the many allusions to it still present in the Easter services. There are many folk customs and traditions associated with Easter, many of which have been handed down from the ancient ceremonies and symbolism of European and Middle Eastern pagan spring festivals. There is a link between spring and Easter, the day of resurrection, as they both represent the birth of new life. In the early church, those who were baptized at the Easter Vigil were dressed in a white robe. They would wear that robe throughout the whole Easter week as a symbol of their new life. Those who had been previously baptized, did not wear white robes, but would wear new clothes to indicate their share in the new life of Christ. During the Middle Ages in Europe, people in their new Easter clothes would take a long walk after Easter Mass. This was a kind of procession preceded by a crucifix of the Easter Candle. The tradition evolved into Easter Parades. As Christianity took hold the egg began to symbolize the rebirth of man rather than nature. It has been mentioned in many literatures that that the eggs were being dyed, decorated, and painted by the Romans, Gaul's, Persians, and the Chinese. A folk story of Poland narrates of Virgin Mary giving eggs to soldiers at the cross while she pleaded with them to be merciful. As her tears dropped they spattered droplets on the eggs mottling them with a myriad of colors. The Faberge egg is the best known of all the decorated eggs. Peter Faberge made intricate, delicately decorated eggs. In 1883, it has been reported that the Russian Czar commissioned Faberge to make a special egg for his wife. The rabbit symbolized fertility in the rites of spring. In a German book published in 1682, a tale is told of a bunny laying eggs and hiding them in the garden for good little children to find. The Germans also created the first consumable bunnies in the 1800s primary made of sugar and pastry. The Easter bonnet and new clothes on Easter symbolizes the end of the dreary winter and the beginning of the fresh, new spring. At the turn of the century it was popular for families to stroll to church and home again to show off their "Sunday best”. On the eve of Easter, the children wake up to find that the Easter Bunny has hidden a basket filled with candy and toys. Children color and decorate hard-boiled eggs. They hunt for these eggs or plastic eggs filled with treats that Easter Bunny has hidden. Easter dinner is a feast with lamb, ham, or fish and spring vegetables, potatoes, and special breads. It is customary that the Christians attend special services throughout Holly Week and mass on Sunday. For instance, eggs, formerly forbidden to be eaten during Lent, have been prominent as symbols of new life and resurrection. In ancient Egypt and Persia friends exchanged decorated eggs at the spring equinox as they have always been symbols of creation, fertility and new-life, marking the beginning of the New Year. Even today on Easter day people gift each other brightly colored and decorated Easter eggs. Let us join to celebrate it with gaiety and fervor and resolve to promote"Global Peace and Universal Brotherhood" all over the universe by our good deeds!
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Anil Kumar :
Thanks for so much details. HAPPY EASTER TO ALL OF US.
Shama Daniel :
happy easter bishwa ji thanks for sharing such a beautiful pic of jesus knocking at the door our hearts to greet him awsome
.Cherie Bharti :
Thank you and same to you:)