This week we couldn’t write about anything else but the celebration that people from all over the world is going to enjoy during the next few days: Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year commemorating the Resurrection of Jesus, which Christians believe happened three days after he was buried, having been crucified by Roman authorities just outside of Jerusalem.
Easter takes place at the same time as Jewish Passover and, as such, is not a fixed date on the calendar but instead moves around. Traditionally the Easter Season lasted for the forty days from Easter Day until Ascension Day. The first week of the Easter Season is known as Easter Week or the Octave of Easter. The week from Palm Sunday to Easter is known as Holy Week. Easter also marks the end of Lent, a season of fasting, prayer, and penance.
With the passing of the time, different traditions have aroused around this religious celebration. As with almost all “Christian” holidays, Easter has a secular side as well. Actually, it has always had its non-religious side. In fact, Easter was originally a pagan festival. For instance, Wiccans and other modern-day Neopagans continue to celebrate the Spring Equinox which is basically related to the fertility of the crops and to the balance of the day and night times.
Back to the religious celebrations, in countries such us Spain, Italy and Brazil Easter is one of the greatest celebrations along with Christmas. While the religious observations of the festival follow the Christian church, the basic contours of Easter celebration may vary in different countries, due to regional influences.
In Spain, Easter is celebrated with great pomp and show. Everywhere, processions make their way through the streets, carrying religious icons and symbols of their faith. he religious fraternities and brotherhoods are responsible for carrying the statues and organising the penitents and musicians. The most famous Easter celebrations are held in various Andalusian towns, Valladolid, Toledo, Segovia, Burgos, Zamora and Cuenca. Easter has to be experienced first hand to be fully appreciated and no words can begin to describe the emotions that flow like water, wherever you go.
Easter in Russia is celebrated according to the Orthodox Church rituals. One of the most traditional rituals in Russia is the Easter egg decoration, shared with other Anglo-Saxons countries. The predominant color for egg dyeing in Russia is red. The red dye is chosen because it symbolizes the blood of Christ. Furthermore, people crack the eggs open using nails, in order to remind themselves again of the death of Christ.
The Sydney Royal Easter Show is Australia’s largest annual event. It showcases the rich Australian heritage, ranging from bushman culture to the urban city life. It takes place annually, at Sydney Olympic Park for over a two week period, which includes the Easter long weekend. The show is a reflection of rural Australia with rural and farming communities exhibit their livestock and produce.
Wherever you are during this Easter holidays you will probably find some sort of celebration. Religious or Pagan; Catholic or Orthodox… what it is sure is that you will enjoy one of the most magical existing celebrations.