I like Easter, it’s a fun holiday, a religious one, but fun. My earliest memories are:
- New clothes for Easter Sunday
- Mom hiding Easter eggs
- Chocolate bunnies wrapped in brightly colored foil
- Chocolate bunnies that tasted a lot like wax
- Wondering how I knew what wax tasted like
The word “easter” seems to have originated from a pre-Christian goddess in England named Eostre who was celebrated at the beginning of spring. The only reference to her comes from the writings of the Venerable Bede, a British monk who lived in the late seventh and early eight centuries.
Bruce Forbes, a religious studies scholar, wrote this:
“Bede wrote that the month in which English Christians were celebrating the resurrection of Jesus had been called Eosturmonath in Old English, referring to a goddess named Eostre. And even though Christians had begun affirming the Christian meaning of the celebration, they continued to use the name of the goddess to designate the season.”
This year, Easter is April 1. But the date for Easter changes every year. The reason is that Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the spring equinox. So in 2019, Easter will be April 21 and in 2020 it will be April 12. Last year, for 2017, Easter was April 16. The year before, in 2016, Easter was March 27.
But our Easter celebration isn’t based on the goddess Eostre or the British monk. It’s aligned with Constantine who favored Christianity, who convened a meeting of Christian leaders who resolved that Easter be celebrated on a Sunday, and it be the first Sunday after the first full moon of the vernal equinox.
Many cultures connect Easter with the Jewish feast of Passover, commemorating the liberation of the Hebrews from Egyptian slavery.
However you recognize Easter, whatever meaning, significance, or cultural traditions you observe please remember that its about the risen Son of God.
The Resurrected Messiah-Our Hope and Our Glory
(the chocolate bunnies are nice too)