Easter

DATE

Celebrated annually on the first Sunday after the Paschal full moon

On or after March 21 and April 25, coinciding with the vernal equinox and determined by the Computus (the calculation of Easter’s date in the Christian calendar)

HOLIDAY TYPE

Cultural & religious (Christian)

OBSERVED BY

Celebrated worldwide in approximately 95 countries

CUSTOMS & TRADITIONS

Customs vary across the Christian world.  Some non-religious events include decorating Easter eggs (symbols of the empty tomb), Easter egg hunts, and the Easter bunny bringing children Easter baskets filled with chocolate bunnies, candy and small toys.

Wearing something new for Easter is a tradition that goes back centuries.  In 1942, Easter bonnets popularity rose when Bing Crosby sang about them in the song “Easter Parade.”  Later, it became a Hollywood musical of the same name.  Both were a nod to the American cultural event of the fashion promenade, which began in New York City in the 1800s.  On Easter Sunday, New Yorkers proudly strolled down Fifth Avenue to display their elaborate outfits, bowlers, bonnets, and hairdos.  Nowadays, New York’s Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival is about parading in outrageous Easter hats.

Friends and Family gather together for a delectable meal and commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Traditions of religion include fasting and prayer during Lent and Holy Week, as well as going to sunrise services and church on Easter Sunday.  Easter lilies, the symbol of the resurrection, are common decorations for churches or homes.

TRADITIONAL FOOD & DRINKS

Food:  Cooked glazed ham, roast lamb, carrots, scalloped potatoes, potato kugel, boiled and deviled eggs, hot cross buns, Easter pie, Easter bread, Simnel cake, carrot cake, and chocolate eggs and bunnies.

Drinks:  Wine and Easter cocktails, such as carrot ginger mimosas, boozy orange peep-sicles, and Cadbury Egg shooters.

HOLIDAY HISTORY

A Christian festival and cultural holiday, Easter is also known as Pascha, Zatik, or Resurrection Sunday.

The Bible’s New Testament tells us that Jesus’ resurrection occurred on the third day after his crucifixion and burial by the Romans circa 30 A.D. Easter, then, becomes the culmination of the Passion of Jesus, preceded by Lent.  Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism, as well as by its position in the calendar year.

Easter is celebrated by Christians worldwide many with diverse secular and cultural traditions and events, as well as special church services and processions.  It is the most important holiday in South America and Spain.