How Many Days Until Easter
How Many Days Until Easter 2023: March 31st, Sunday
Celebrated annually on the first Sunday after the first ecclesiastical full moon, Easter honors the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This historic event has been officially observed since the 2nd century and is a joyful day for Christians across the world!
Easter was called Zatik in Armenian and Pascha in Aramaic, Greek, and Latin. It is also known as Resurrection Sunday in most parts of the world.
It is one of the most important celebrations for Christians as it commemorates one of the significant events of Jesus among other important events like His birth, life, and ministry.
The New Testament writers record that Jesus was crucified on or about the time of Passover just before the Jewish sabbath began. Since the Jewish Sabbath was a Saturday, Jesus’s death must have taken place on Friday. Thus people also observe this Friday as Good Friday. Christians consider it good because Jesus took their punishment for their sins on the cross.
Jesus was crucified on the cross by the Jewish people who did not believe in Him and by the Romans who were ruling over the Jews.
But on the third day, when a few of His women disciples went to the tomb to anoint His body with spices, they couldn’t find Him. And then they believed in what Jesus had been telling them all along. That He will rise on the third day. This event that took place two thousand years ago is what is now celebrated as Easter!
The term Easter is acquired from ‘Eostre’ or ‘Ostara’, the name of a pagan goddess believed to grant fertility. A feast for her was organized during the Vernal Equinox. Even in the word East, and Oestrogen, the female hormone is derived from the roots of her name.
The Saxon culture considered the hare to be sacred to the goddess and today’s easter bunny echoes that idea.
Except for English and German, the holiday’s name in most languages is acquired from Passover’s Hebrew name – Pesach. Passover is a Jewish holiday that intimately links to Easter celebrated by Christians. The Gospel of John mentions that the last supper took place during some instance of the Passover.
The orthodox Christians such as the Greek church follow the date mentioned in the Julian calendar to celebrate Easter while other Christians follow the Gregorian calendar.
Thus Easter not only depends on the Passover for its symbolic significance but also its position in the calendar.
Easter dates vary from year to year and are not a fixed holiday like Christmas which is always celebrated on December 25th. This problem arose as the Gospels don’t mention any specific dates. But it was not a concern among the early Christians as Christ had promised to return to take them with him. The second coming of Christ is what the early and the current Christian community looks forward to.
However many efforts were made to obtain a standard easter date and finally, this came true with the Alexandrian Church’s formula. This was accepted as the correct way to find out the date of Easter. With this formula, Passover or Easter day fell on the first Sunday after the first full moon. Thus Easter could fall as early as March 22nd or the latest by April 25th.
Modern celebrations of Easter also revolve around eggs. They could be painted and used for decorations or gifting.
A few accounts of Easter practice show that people used eggs to represent the resurrection as it is from those the new fowl are born. Another account states that the shape of the egg represents the stone rolled away from Jesus’ tomb.
The egg tradition is adopted from a pagan custom of celebrating spring. The ancient Persians welcomed the new year on the vernal equinox with painted eggs.
The adoption of this custom could be because of the ban on eggs during the Lent period i.e. before Easter. Therefore the eggs during this period are painted or used to make giant omelets and pancakes after Easter!
All Christian traditions celebrate Easter based on their understanding of the Bible. Some happen to have early morning service or midnight service as Mary Magdalene went to the tomb as the dawn was breaking.
The resurrection of Jesus was an unbelievable moment even for His closest friends – His disciples. Although Jesus had been consistently telling them that He has to be sacrificed for His people’s sake and that He would rise again on the third day, his disciples didn’t believe in it completely.
The birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus were not accidental or occurred by chance. These events have been prophesied and revealed to the people of Israel. The Jews were indeed anticipating a King from one of the tribes of Israel who would save them from all the persecution they were facing from various rulers.
Since Jesus came as a common man, son to a carpenter, and not as a political King as the Jews had in mind, his ministry, and self-proclamations of being God offended them.
Even though they didn’t find any sin or wrong in him, they demanded the Roman emperor to have him killed, crucified on the cross.
The followers of Jesus were scared and lost hope as Jesus died on the Cross. But they did not understand that he had fulfilled the old testament prophecies and the actual Passover lamb was Jesus himself.
In ancient Israel, a male lamb was sacrificed and the blood was applied on the doorposts and the meat was eaten to remind themselves of what God did for them when they were slaves in Egypt. Only the homes with the blood of the lamb were saved from death whereas the ones which did not have them lost their firstborn in children and cattle. God allowed this to happen because the King of Egypt was not ready to let the Israelites go free.
The Passover custom was a foreshadow of the coming Jesus Christ and his redemptive work for his people.
The resurrection of Jesus was a historic moment not that his birth and life were any less. The same people who were scared, and were hiding after Jesus’s death are the same ones that gave up their lives for sharing the gospel truths about Jesus, that He was the promised Son of God, the promised Messiah, and King of the Jews.
The resurrection is the central part of Christianity. Many theologians state that if the resurrection was proved wrong, there is no basis for Christianity.
Even the non-christian historians have recorded the resurrection and it is the only tomb that doesn’t have a dead body. And the New Testament also records that Jesus promised that his children would also be resurrected one day as he has conquered death (death was the punishment from God for sin – spiritual death).
Because Jesus rose from the dead, he is living and had promised to come again to take his children with him to live with him forever. This is the hope that every Christian has been holding on to since his resurrection and ascension.
It’s a celebration of joy as Christians will be one day together with God and death will not have power over them.
Various fun activities are enjoyed the next day of Easter. It could be the making of a giant omelet with 15,000 eggs or rolling eggs down the hill. Easter egg hunts are loved by children as they enjoy finding all those hidden eggs. The egg roll event was sponsored by the wife of President Rutherford B. Hayes for children and their parents to participate. It is believed that President Hayes allowed the festivities to be conducted at the White House Lawn in 1877 as many children were participating in the event and Capitol Hill couldn’t accommodate them all.
A popular custom that is enjoyed and practiced by many even in the non-christian people is the Easter bunny. It is believed to lay eggs, paint them and hide them away. However such customs were strongly rejected by the Protestant church as these were not mentioned in the Bible.
In some European countries, animals such as foxes or cuckoos were believed to bring the easter eggs. The modern practice of Easter bunnies is to bring chocolate eggs or candies for children.
How Can We Observe Easter:
Attend an Easter service!
- What better way to commemorate resurrection than by being reminded of his love and sacrifice. And that he is alive! Attend the Easter mass in your locality to partake in the joy of resurrection along with other Christians!
Decorate some eggs!
- You could decorate some eggs at home with family and friends today! You could enroll yourself in an egg painting class to master this art! Decorating eggs is not only fun but a great way to bond with people! And not least, they make for some awesome decor! If you are a pro you could take part in egg decorating competitions too! Don’t forget to share your egg paintings on all your social media pages!
Chocolate Easter Eggs!
- Add in some more fun by creating your chocolate easter eggs! If you have the cast and ingredients you are good to go! Else, you could buy some from the stores near you or online! Children will enjoy those chocolate easter eggs! If you love making them, do share with family and friends today!
Play the Easter bunny!
- Surprise your Children by dropping off a basket of easter eggs, toys, and candies in the garden by getting dressed up as a bunny! You could also play many other games with your children – the bunny hopping game, the bunny hide and seek game, etc! Or simply invite all your children’s friends and parents for a bunny-themed dress competition. May the funniest bunny win!
Play the Egg Hunt!
- There is nothing more thrilling than finding something hidden away! You could place a mixture of decorated eggs, empty eggs, and chocolate eggs hidden away on your lawn. The person who gets the maximum chocolate easter eggs will be the winner!
Read about Easter!
- You could celebrate the day by reading more on Easter. Its origin, historical significance, and its impact on early Christianity!
Indulge in some folklore!
- Find fictional storybooks about the Easter bunny, or the Easter eggs for some light reading!
Enjoy some singing!
- There are many old and new songs and hymns written on the resurrection of Jesus! If you love to sing or be reminded of the resurrection, spend the day singing your favorite ones!
Share the Easter story!
- You could celebrate by sharing the Easter story via blogs, videos, or slide presentations! Or simply post pictures of how you celebrated Easter this year! You could also share pictures of the Chocolate Easter eggs or the egg painting! Use #Easter to share all your posts today!
Interesting Facts About Easter:
Here are some interesting Facts surrounding Easter!
- The white lily is said to be the official flower of Easter as it represents purity and grace! Thus they are also known as the Easter lilies.
- Fry’s in England were the first to produce the chocolate Easter eggs!
- Chocolate constituted 70% of Easter candy sales.
- Earlier egg dyes were made using natural ingredients like juices, onion peels, flower petals, and tree bark!
- The first story of an Easter bunny (formerly a rabbit) was published in 1680
- Since 1878, the Presidents of the U.S.have been celebrating the White House Easter Egg Roll event.
- We have the Germans to thank for the Easter bunny giving candies. This idea originated in the Middle Ages and the Dutch brought the idea to the U.S. in the 1700s!
- 16 million jelly beans are consumed by the U.S. during Easter. These jelly beans if laid in a circle could circle the earth three times! They were first introduced in the 1930s as Easter treats!
- The Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches dyed the eggs red to symbolize the blood of Jesus Christ!
- Italy prepared the largest chocolate Easter egg in the world for Easter in 2011!
History of Easter:
Although Easter has spiritual and historic significance, the exact date of this day is not known. But with the dates of Passover, the full moon, and the vernal equinox have helped Christians to establish a standard date for Easter. Thus Easter could fall anywhere between March 21 and April 25.