The first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. Easter must be between March 21st and April 25
Although it has been influenced by other religions, Easter is mostly a Christian holiday. The events that it celebrates are described in the Bible. After Christ was arrested, he was quickly sentenced to death. He was crucified on Friday afternoon. He died, and his body was placed in a tomb for three days. On Sunday, some of Christ's friends went to visit the grave, but they found that his body was gone. Christ had been resurrected. This happened during the spring which is a time when the earth comes back to life after a long, cold winter. People celebrate all kinds of new life with Easter. Eggs are seen as a symbol of this new life. That is the reason eggs are a very important part of Easter celebrations.
Many people also celebrate Easter by telling stories about the Easter
bunny. At one time, these animals were also a symbol of new life. Small
children are told that during the night the Easter bunny will visit their
homes and bring treats.
Vernal equinox (noun): a time during the spring when the sun is over the middle part of the earth. Day and night are the same length everywhere in the world.
Crucified (verb): hung on a cross with arms and feet tied or nailed to the wood
Tomb (noun): a place to put someone who has died usually a room in a cave or a building
Grave (noun): a place to put a dead body
Resurrected (verb): to come back to life after being dead
Treats (noun): a small gift that makes someone happy; usually it has candy in it
Bonnet (noun): a fancy hat; an old word that isn't used much anymore
Easter egg hunts (noun): games where people search for hidden eggs and
There are several other days close to Easter that some people feel are very important. These days are also religious days, and they are most important to Catholics. Not all Americans choose to remember these days.
During the season of Easter our family has quite a few traditions which have been handed down from generation to generation. The mourning of Easter, my mother will fix us a nice breakfast with hot cakes and English muffins. We will then proceed into the living room where we have our Easter basket normally filled with some candy and a card from our parents expressing their love for us. We do not believe in the Easter bunny, but we do believe in this time meaning a renewal period and a new start in our individual lives. Normally my father will pull out his old English, mid-1800 Bible and read to us about the suffering and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is done with all of our family and relatives and is a new meaning and start of hope for us during the new year. (Matt, age 22, Utah)
My family has a tradition on Easter that we have done every easter for as long as I can remember. On Easter afternoon, all our neighbor kids and friends come over, and while the kids are in the house watching a movie, the adults go outside and hide literally hundreds of eggs, hard-boiled and plastic. All the plastic eggs have a little change in them like pennies, nickels, and dimes. A few have quarters. But there is one egg called the golden egg because it is a huge golden plastic egg that has anywhere from $5 to $100 in it. And, of course, it is the hardest to find, but that's the one everyone looks for. I love Easter because it always brings my family and friends together, and of course, it's always nice to be $100 richer. (Jeanna, age 18, California)
My wife and I are different in many ways. Yet in one way, there is no mistaking our resemblance. We both love to eat. Yes, we focus our holidays around some form or another of eating. Since we are newlyweds, we have not been through a complete list of traditions yet, but our first tradition, Easter, was a doozie. My wife woke up in the morning and spread a million chocolates all over the kitchen then came back to bed. I woke up, ate all the chocolates, and then made ten of the biggest Belgian waffles I ever did see along with freshly cut strawberries, homemade whipped cream, and powdered sugar on top. we thrust ourselves knee deep in a tradition that will last as long as there is a waffle maker in the bottom of the cupboard. (Jason, age 25, Montana)
St. Matthew Chapters 27-28 of the King James Version of the Bible
Back to Holiday Main
Last modified on April 27, 1999.