The season of Lent lasts 46 days beginning with Ash Wednesday and ending
This is a time period
set aside to recognize and feel sorrow for your sins.
The last week of Lent begins with Palm Sunday, which
celebrates the day Jesus entered Jerusalem and the people lay down palms at his
In that same week, Holy
Thursday commemorates the Last Supper.
This was the dinner attended by Jesus and his twelve Disciples the
evening before his crucifixion.
Good Friday is the day that Christ was crucified.
Easter Sunday, three days later,
commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
There are two ways on which the date Easter will fall is
decided. In the West, it is the
first Sunday after the first full moon, after the first day of spring. Sound complicated? Well the Eastern
Orthodox holiday is determined the same as above, with the exception that the
date also falls after the Jewish holiday of Passover. Whew! Now for
the really fun stuff.
The word ‘Easter’ is said to be from the names of goddesses
It represents spring
and fertility. The Easter egg is also a symbol of fertility and new life.
People used to decorate and exchange
these eggs similar to Valentines.
In Greece they exchange red eggs to honor the blood of Christ.
In Germany and Austria they exchange
green eggs on Holy Thursday.
Germans also poke holes in eggs and blow the contents into a bowl. They
then decorate the delicate objects and hang them up.
Slavic people give gold and silver eggs to each other.
The Easter bunny itself is a symbol of fertility. Hares and rabbits are the most fertile
animals and are symbols of new life.
Germany made the first edible rabbits in the early 1800’s. The tradition came to America with the
Dutch immigrants. Kids were told
that if they behaved, the bunny would lay colored eggs for them in their
strategically placed caps or bonnets.
on the Net, holidays.net
The celebration of Passover is eight days long. It is an observance of the freedom and
exodus of the Israelites from Egypt 3000 years ago. Moses demanded the freedom of the Israelites from Pharaoh
Ramses II. When he said no, God
sent ten terrible plagues on the people of Egypt. They were blood, frogs, lice, flies, cattle disease, boils,
hail, locusts, darkness, and the slaying of the first-born.
With the arrival of the last plague, all first-borns of man
or beast were to be killed except, of course, the Israelites. They were told to put lambs blood on
their front doors so God would “Passover” those homes. Finally, the Pharaoh let them go only
to pursue them across the hot desert.
When the Israelites approached the Red Sea, God parted the waves and let
them pass through safely. When the
Pharaoh’s army followed, the water covered their heads.
The first two nights of the eight-day celebration of
Passover, families gather and retell this story. They begin their celebration with a meal known as Seder that
includes specific foods, plates, and utensils. Only foods that are “Kosher” are allowed and the
children participate in the reenactment of the story.
Source: Passover on the Net,