History and traditions of true Easter

Easter is heartwarming, cheery and spring festival, which celebrate not only the majority of Americans, but a lot of people around the world. The festival is celebrated in the spring, when nature comes alive, bringing a new life on earth. Easter is associated with the Easter Bunny, chocolate Easter eggs, Easter cakes, flowers, spring, the awakening of nature, etc. Many Christians on Easter go to church, always in new and beautiful clothes. Kids are offered various plays such as Easter eggs hunt, making a wish, sitting on the lap of the Easter Bunny, and more.

Easter Bunny is Easter symbol in the culture of some countries in Western Europe and the U.S. Symbol has pagan roots, going back to the holidays, dedicated to fertility and spring.
Legend of the Easter bunny was first mentioned in the XVI. In 1680 the first story about a rabbit laying eggs and hiding them in the garden was published. Holiday “Oster Hase” (Osterhase) was considered one of the “greatest joys of childhood”. It has been waiting just the same as the gifts on Christmas. Legend appeared in the United States in the XVIII century with immigrants from Germany.

Easter traditions that are celebrated today, have almost nothing to do with the historic Easter
, they originate from the cultures of different ethnic groups. This is often due to the fact that in those days many ethnic groups worshiped the sun and celebrated the beginning of spring and the awakening of nature.
Since then, much time has passed, many traditions have changed. In English, there are different words that mean the same holiday: Passover (literally a “passed”) and Easter. The word Easter is a secular name of the festival, while the Passover (also known as Pasch, Pascha, Pesach, Pesah, Feast of the Unleavened Bread) has religious significance.

We suggest you to read more about this holiday…

Easter: History and traditions

The roots of this festival came from the distant past (usually dated XV-XIII cc. BC). For the first time this festival was celebrated by Jews who came out of Egypt.

Note: Events preceding
According to the Bible, pastoral kind of Jacob-Israel (the ancestor of the Jews) left Canaan because of hunger and settled in Egypt (Genesis 46:6) due to the fact that his scion, Joseph the Beautiful, had a successful career at the court of Pharaoh, and even intermarried with the local aristocracy. The earth of Egypt, where they began to live, was called Goshen. In Egypt, the population of Israelis is growing rapidly (Exodus 1:7) and they are getting involved in the construction work (Exodus 1:11).

According to the Bible, the Israelites were in Egyptian captivity for 400 years (Genesis 15:13) or 430 years (Exodus 12:40).

Israelis living conditions in the years before the Exodus, become extremely difficult. Pharaoh sees that the action taken is not able to delay the growth of the number of young people, so he issues a decree, first secretly and then openly, to kill new born boys of the tribe of Israelites (Exodus 1:15-22). At this time, the expectant leader and liberator of the Hebrew people, Moses is born.

God gave the Jews command to celebrate this holiday to remember they have been saved from death and rescued from slavery of the Egyptians. They had to sacrifice a lamb, a ewe or a nanny goat and anoint doorsteps of their houses with its blood.

Bible Exodus 12
And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord’s Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.

Events preceding
Moses, a Prophet of God, in the name of God demands that Pharaoh set his people free, showing miracles. These miracles are called the ten plagues of Egypt because each demonstrated miracle was accompanied with a great disaster for the Egyptians. In honor of the last of these miracles the Jewish holiday of Passover was named (from פסח – passed). According to the Pentateuch, the angel of death and God smote all Egyptian firstborns and “passed” houses of the Jews, which were marked with the blood of a sacrificial lamb.

The salvation of Jewish firstborns marks the beginning of the Exodus from Egypt. Pharaoh’s army overtook the Jews near Black, or Red Sea, where another miracle was performed: the waters of the sea have parted for Israelis and covered the army of Pharaoh (Exodus 14:28).

When Christianity came

Then, when the Jews were living in the land of their own, the savior Jesus Christ came. It was in the beginning of the 1st century (that’s why they say from the birth of Christ (Year of Redemption).

Note: Bible Luke 2
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David). To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And this is the second Easter, which is celebrated by Christians, since Jesus was crucified in the days of the Passover celebration. That’s why this festival is celebrated on the same day by the Jews and the Christians (with a difference of a couple of days).

Why Easter is called Pascha/ Passover, though more appropriately name is “The Resurrection of Christ” Holiday?
This name came from the Christians, as stated in the Bible. Salvation and deliverance from the punishment for sins underlies the act of Christ, and the proof is the miracle performed – Jesus’ Resurrection on the third day, which is the main symbol for Christians and Jews.

Note: Bible 1 Corinthians 5
Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened [bread] of sincerity and truth.

This is a brief history of the Passover Festival.
Let these Easter days be full of joy! Bring joy to others!

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