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Christian holy days

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Origins, meanings, and practices of Easter

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Overview:

Modern-day Easter is derived from two ancient traditions: one Judeo-Christian and the other Pagan. Both Christians and Pagans have celebrated death and resurrection themes following the Spring Equinox for millennia. Most religious historians believe that many elements of the Christian observance of Easter were derived from earlier Pagan celebrations.

Easter is not celebrated on the actual anniversary of the resurrection. Among Christians in the West it may fall on any date between MAR-22 and APR-25. Eastern Christianity uses the Julian Calendar which is currently delayed by 13 days from the Gregorian Calendar that Western Christians use. Easter is observed in the East between APR-04 and MAY-08. There have been efforts to have all Christians observe Easter on the same day, and other efforts to hold it on the same day each year. However, these have not been successful.

The equinox occurs each year on March 20, 21 or 22. Both Neopagans and Christians continue to celebrate religious rituals linked to the equinox. Wiccans and other Neopagans usually hold their celebrations on the day or eve of the equinox. Western Christians celebrate Easter on the Sunday on or after the full moon that follows the nominal date of the Equinox -- MAR-21. The "full moon" is not the actual astronomical event; it is set at the 14th day of the month according to a lunar calendar.

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Topics discussed in this section:

bulletThe Pagan origins of Easter

bulletPagan and Neopagan celebrations at or near the Spring Equinox
 
bulletThe Christian origins of Easter

bullet How and when Easter is celebrated today. Rabbits, eggs and other Easter traditions
bulletThe names for Easter in various languages

bullet Past disputes over the date of Easter

bulletAttempts to find a common date for Easter

bulletWas Jesus executed on a Wednesday and resurrected on a Saturday?

bulletBeliefs about Jesus' resurrection

Some links to other web sites:

bullet

Easter cards:

bullet101 Easter offers Ecards, recipes, jokes, a history of Easter, and other information. See: http://www.101easter.com/

bullet   123Greetings is a premier electronic greeting card website that features Easter greeting cards during the Easter season.

bulletThe Easter-eCards website has an extensive selection of free Easter cards with themes such as: religious, for friends, for family, flowers, birthday, etc. See: http://www.easter-ecards.com/

bulletGoodFridayCards has a broad range of Christian cards for Easter and other events, including some for children. See: http://www.goodfridayecards.com/
 
bullet

Other topics:

bullet Holiday Spot has many essays on the history, icons and symbols of Easter. See: http://www.theholidayspot.com/easter/

bulletEaster-Art sells decorated Easter eggs featuring traditional Slavic folk art and craftsmanship. See: http://www.easter-art.com/

bulletEasteri.com maintains a list of links to websites covering a wide range of Easter topics. See: http://easteri.com/easter/

bullet Happy Easter covers a wide range of topics related to Easter, including cards, songs, poems, crafts and decorations, etc. See: http://www.happyeaster.org.uk/

bulletKidMagnet.com has a group of links to articles on Easter: its history, origins, traditions, etc. See: http://www.kidmagnet.com/

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Related essays on this web site:

bulletThe Shroud of Turin - relic, icon, artifact, fraud?
 
bullet Other essays about Yeshua of Nazareth/Jesus Christ.

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Site navigation:

Home page > Christianity > Practices > Holy days > here

Home page > Christianity > Christian personalitiesJesus > here

or Home page > Religious information > GodJesus > here

or Home page > Spirituality > GodJesus > here

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Copyright 1999 to 2013 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2013-MAR-31
Author: B.A. Robinson

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