By Alisha Gomez
What do you think about when Easter comes to mind? Do you think about jelly beans, the
Easter Bunny, or Christ’s resurrection? There are many things that comprise Easter in our culture
today, but the history of Easter has seen some very interesting changes.
For Christians, Easter is one of the most important holidays because it is when we
celebrate Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Easter is also, however, a very commercial holiday.
Instead of Christ, most people associate Easter with Easter eggs, rabbits, and candy. Why is this?
The word Easter comes from the Greek name, “Eostre,” who is the goddess of spring.
Easter was originally a pagan holiday where people welcomed Eostre’s light and warmth after a
cold winter. People held festivals that consisted of feasts to celebrate new flowers, sunshine,
birds, and a general feeling of new life.
In 325 A.D, the Christian church changed the pagan festival to the celebration of Jesus
rising from the dead.
Easter is called a moveable holiday because it doesn’t have a set date on which it is
celebrated. It can fall on different dates each year.
In America, giving and eating candy is one way we celebrate the holiday. Did you know
that over 90 million chocolate Easter bunnies are made each year? Family dinners, church, Easter
egg decorating and egg hunts make up the way most people celebrate the day.
Here’s how other countries celebrate Easter:
England: Easter is celebrated by exchanging Easter eggs, wearing new clothes, eating
chocolate, or giving other packages such as bonnets or baskets that are filled with daffodils.
Easter in England is often a celebration of new life. Many businesses hold Easter egg hunts and
have competitions to see who can find the most eggs.
European counties: People celebrate Easter by lighting giant bonfires on hilltops and in
churchyards on the eve of Easter.
Germany: Easter holidays last for about three weeks for children. Families will often eat
Easter lunch and dinner after attending church services. On Easter morning, parents hide eggs for
their children to find.
France: Easter is known as Paques and the main celebration kicks off on Good Friday.
They mourn the crucifixion of Christ by not ringing the church bells for three days. On the
morning of Easter, children run to the garden to hear the bells ring.
India: Christians make up only 2.5 percent of India, but Easter is celebrated anyway with
Israel: Many tourists travel to Israel from all over the world to celebrate the holy festival
of Easter in the Holy Land of Jerusalem. The resurrection of Jesus is celebrated by fire lights and
Mexico: Mexico places a great religious importance on Easter, so the Easter week is
filled with many religious processions and plays, such as a presentation showing Jesus being sent
to be crucified. The holiday is not commercial in Mexico, so one will not hear any mention of
Easter eggs or the Easter bunny. On Easter Sunday, people go to Mass and celebrate with their
families, and some places have festivities with fireworks.