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What Easter Day Is All About

Jul 19, 2008
This year to make a friend or family members Easter that bit more special, try sending them a free e-card. Free e-card are quickly becoming the fast, affordable way to thank people, or congratulate them.

Easter is the conclusion of Holy Week as well as the Lent season, which is a period of forty days, excluding Sundays, symbolic of Jesus Christ's forty day fast in the desert, during which devout Christians perform deeds of spiritual cleansing and penitence.

The goddess of spring worshipped by Northern and Central Europeans prior to Christianity's introduction was named Eostre, which is believed to have stemmed the word 'east' as well as Easter. The more joyous of the two major Christian holidays, Easter marks not only the resurrection of Christ, but also the revitalization of the natural world.

Though it is the oldest Christian festival, the Church didn't set the date of its celebration, the first Sunday after the full moon following the Vernal Equinox, until 325 C.E. The significance of the Vernal Equinox has been a factor in the celebrations of many ancient cultures, from the Romans to the Egyptians, and it is on these seasonal festivals that symbolism of Easter is largely based.

As Jesus and his original followers were Jews, Easter is also inextricably linked with the celebration of Passover. For example, what is now known as the Last Supper is thought to have been a Passover Seder.

As with Christmas, Easter is a religious holiday that has become secularized over the centuries of its observance. Due to the high appeal of its customs, people around the world celebrate the holiday as a chance to gather with the people they love and enjoy the coming of spring.

Two of the most recognized Easter symbols are rabbits or hares and eggs, both of which are symbols of fertility, rebirth, and the continuity of life. Eggs are all the more significant because their consumption was originally forbidden during the Lent season.

Thus, they were reintroduced into the diets of devout Christians during the traditional Easter meal, for which occasion they were painted to express the cheer and delight identified with the holiday.

Painting eggs may have originally come from the spring festival practices of Egyptians and Persians. The custom continues to be very popular, especially in Europe, where painted eggs are given to friends, family, and kids as gifts symbolic of life, and among children as an amusing activity with which to celebrate Easter.

In the United States, the belief that the Easter bunny actually lays eggs laid the foundation
for the Easter egg hunt, in which eggs are hidden around the yard or garden for children to discover. Egg rolling contests, such as the annual one held on the White House lawn, are also customary.

As opposed to the purple garments worn by Catholic clergy throughout Lent, the Pope wears white robes as a symbol of the resurrection of Christ.

The date of Easter Sunday can vary as much as 35 days from year to year.

Millions of free e-cards are sent each year, and this year you too should try sending a few, and make someone's day that bit more special.
About the Author
Andrew Gibson is MD of Greeting-Cards.com. It has thousands of free ecards to choose from for birthdays and all occasions. Many people now send Free e-cards to celebrate Easter Day and select them from http://www.Greeting-Cards.com
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