Ways to Celebrate Easter
People celebrate Easter in many different ways. There are both Christian and pagan methods to celebrate Easter, and in many ways the two have been entwined with one another throughout the centuries. As with many Christian holidays and events, you can find similarities to both pagan and Jewish celebrations.
Because Easter is a Christian holiday, one of the ways millions of people celebrate Easter is by going to church. Easter is a time to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. While Lent, the 40 days which precede Easter, are meant to be a time of self-sacrifice, most Christians celebrate Easter with special foods and some buy new clothes to wear to church. Churches are decorated with flowers, especially lilies, which are symbolic of innocence and new birth or life.
Today in America and other countries, people celebrate Easter in many ways which are secular and not spiritual. Like Christmas, Easter is a big commercial holiday with all kinds of sales and other money-making activities. Every store will have some type of Easter sale. Eating chocolate bunnies and coloring Easter eggs are the ways other people celebrate Easter. These traditions have developed from festivals which celebrated the equinox, or beginning of spring.
The pagan celebrations pre-dated the Christian festivals and over the years many of the elements were intertwined. For instance, it is believed that the word “Easter,” was influenced by “Eostre,” the name of the lunar goddess of the Anglo-Saxons. The symbols of this lunar festival were the rabbit (symbolizing fertility) and the egg (symbolizing new life).
Of course, the equinox celebration occurred in the spring. The pagan festival was held on the first full moon that occurred after the vernal equinox, similar to the first date selected for Easter. The Easter date has changed over the years and now takes place between the beginning of March and the end of April. Today many of these secular traditions also continue as people celebrate Easter with special parades featuring marching bands, floats, horses and pets.
Thus Easter has become a holiday which is celebrated by Christians and non-Christians alike. For many people who celebrate Easter as a religious holy day, it is a no-no to participate in the secular activities. There are stricter Christians who don’t color eggs or buy stuffed rabbits. They believe in the absolute holiness of the Feast of Easter and won’t tolerate many of what are considered lighter themes. Other Christians have no problem with taking their kids to Easter egg hunts or having the Easter bunny leave off a few candies and other goodies to help celebrate Easter.
If you are looking for ways to celebrate Easter, you have many choices. You can celebrate Easter by sending someone flowers or you can make an Easter basket filled with goodies. You can give just about anything in an Easter basket, from candy and fruit to money or stuffed animals.
Many families celebrate Easter by taking their kids to Easter egg hunts and Easter parties. Another great idea is to send those you care about an Easter card, either a printed one or one of the thousands you can send online. You can send a Christian card or one with a theme that is more Easter bunny or spring-oriented.
Going out to dinner is another way to celebrate Easter as is buying some new clothes. For Christians, one of the best ways to celebrate the feast of Easter is to make more time for prayer and to do something which can show God’s love to others. It is also good to celebrate Easter with other people who share your beliefs.