Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Easter or Oestre, as it is sometimes called, celebrates the Resurrection of Christ following his crucification previously. The word 'Oestre' was the old Teutonic word for dawn/sunrise. This word is one of the roots of our word 'east', and also the name of the female hormone 'estrogen'.

Dating back to the period AD 27 to 33, Easter is widely celebrated throughout the world. Christ's crucification and resurrection mark the basis for the salvation of mankind. Although Christian in nature, Easter, brings together the entire human race. Here are some lesser known facts about Easter-

  • Easter, also known as Pascha (Greek: Passover), the Feast of the Resurrection, the Sunday of the Resurrection, or Resurrection Day, is the most important religious feast of the Christian liturgical year, observed between late March and late April.

  • Easter is named after Eastre, an Anglo-Saxon goddess! Her symbols were the hare and the egg.

  • It celebrates the resurrection of Jesus, which his followers believe occurred on the third day after his death by crucifixion.

  • In Western Christianity, Easter always falls on a Sunday from March 22 to April 25 inclusive. The following day, Easter Monday, is a legal holiday in many countries with predominantly Christian traditions. In Eastern Christianity, Easter falls between April 4 and May 8 between 1900 and 1970 based on the Gregorian date.

  • Those following the Church of Alexandria, actually follow an ecclesiastic full moon instead of an astronomical moon-

The ecclesiastical rules are:

Easter falls on the first Sunday following the first ecclesiastical full moon that occurs on or afterMarch 21 (the day of the ecclesiastical vernal equinox).

This particular ecclesiastical full moon is the 14th day of a tabular lunation (new moon).

  • In Western Christianity, Easter marks the end of the forty days of Lent, a period of fasting and penitence in preparation for Easter which begins on Ash Wednesday. The week before Easter is very special in the Christian tradition: Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday respectively commemorate Jesus's entry in Jerusalem, the Last Supper and the Crucifixion.

  • In Eastern Christianity, preparations begin with Great Lent. Following the fifth Sunday of Great Lent is Palm Week, which ends with Lazarus Saturday. Lazarus Saturday officially brings Great Lent to a close, although the fast continues for the following week.

  • The resurrection of Jesus took place during the Passover. The Passover is the 8 day observance commemorating the freedom and exodus of the Israelites (Jewish slaves) from Egypt during the reign of the Pharaoh Ramses II.

  • According to the Guinness Book of World Records the largest Easter egg ever made was just over 25-ft high and made of chocolate and marshmallow. The egg weighed 8,968 lbs. and was supported by an internal steel frame.

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posted by Dave Richards at Wednesday, February 28, 2007 ¤ Permalink ¤