At Easter, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Holy Week, as the week before Easter Sunday is called, starts on Palm Sunday. That day marks the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem where he was welcomed by a large crowd who spread branches of palm trees on his path and greeted him:
"Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!"
Holy Thursday remembers the Last Supper at which Jesus blessed bread and wine and gave it to his disciples telling them that it was his body and his blood. Jesus also told his disciples that one of them would betray him, and later that night Jesus was betrayed by Judas .
When Is Good Friday 2010?
This year Good Friday falls on April 2, 2010.
But it`s moving holiday.
Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion. First Jesus was taken to Pontius Pilate to be sentenced to death. Pilate did not want Jesus to be crucified, but he had no other chance. In order to demonstrate, however, that he was not to blame for Jesus' death, Pilate washed his hands in front of the people, which was the origin of the famous saying “I wash my hands of it”.
When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. "I am innocent of this man's blood," he said. "It is your responsibility!"
Easter Monday honours the resurrection. It is said that three days after being crucified, Jesus rose from the dead.
Whilst Easter is a major holiday of the Christian church, nonbelievers have something to celebrate as well: the return of spring. The name Easter actually derives from the Anglo-Saxon goddess Eostre in whose honour a spring festival was held in ancient times. Back then, hares and eggs were seen as symbols of new life–this is why today eggs and bunnies are popular Easter decorations.
By the way, the European custom of egg rolling has made its way across the ocean and is now quite common in the USA, too. It has even become an Easter Monday tradition to do "egg rolling" on the lawn of the White House.
Easter is a major religious festival of Christians that is celebrated in a grand manner with a big party time celebration. Every nation has its own way of celebrating a particular festivity. Every country has some peculiar traditions and customs. For example it is the tradition of America to conduct special Easter parades, where men and women flaunt their special costumes and colorful bonnets.
The person who leads the parade can be spotted holding Easter candle or cross in his/her hand. It is interesting to explore facts about Easter traditions in USA. Read further to know about Easter celebration in America…
Here are some facts about Easter customs and traditions in US:
In the New Orleans, it is a trend of conducting an annual Easter carnival called 'Mardi Gras', which features lot of fun activities like parade, jazz music bands and a bumper party.
A traditional Easter game for American kids is Easter egg roll.
A special dish for Easter springtime in USA is baked ham, potatoes and vegetables. Another most demanding recipe is hot cross buns.
It was in the early 1700's, when for the first time, eggs were dyed and the credit for starting this practice in America can be attributed to Pennsylvania Dutch (German) settlers.
As a part of Easter traditions in the US, sunrise services are held and the prime motive is to include various Christian religious groups in this event.
Painting the Easter eggs and then conducting Easter egg hunt games for the kids is what most American parents do on the Easter week.
Easter colors wheel is a real comprehensive one and encompasses innumerable colors. Most of the people are unaware about the Easter color philosophy. In fact, all the colors of Easter have their own unique significance. If one is indicative of brightness, the other represents the darkness of our sins. If all this sounds interesting, then read further to know about the significance of Easter colours.
RED: this color is associated with the blood that Jesus Christ had shed for mankind. Thus the red colour is a symbol of love and sacrifice for goodness of humanity .
WHITE: this Easter color signifies purity and grace.
GREEN: the green colour brings ray of hope. Green is the color of grass.
PURPLE: Easter purple colour is indicative of royalty. It is said that the color purple brings wealth.
YELLOW: it is the color that is related to the brightness of sun. It’s a color that brings joy and happiness.
BLACK: it is the color that indicates the evil side. To put it other words, we can say black signifies darkness.
ORANGE: it is the color that represents hope. It is associated with the dawn of day.
In England, Germany and some other countries, children rolled eggs down hills on Easter morning, a game which has been connected to the rolling away of the rock from Jesus Christ's tomb when he was resurrected. British settlers brought this custom to the New World.
In the United States in the early nineteenth century, Dolly Madison, the wife of the fourth American President, organized an egg roll in Washington, D.C. She had been told that Egyptian children used to roll eggs against the pyramids so she invited the children of Washington to roll hard-boiled eggs down the hilly lawn of the new Capitol building!
The custom continued, except for the years during the Civil War. In 1880, the First Lady invited children to the White House for the Egg Roll because officials had complained that they were ruining the Capitol lawn. It has been held there ever since then, only cancelled during times of war.
The event has grown, and today Easter Monday is the only day of the year when tourists are allowed to wander over the White House lawn. The wife of the President sponsors it for the children of the entire country. The egg rolling event is open to children twelve years old and under. Adults are allowed only when accompanied by children!
Traditionally, many celebrants bought new clothes for Easter which they wore to church. After church services, everyone went for a walk around the town. This led to the American custom of Easter parades all over the country. Perhaps the most famous is along Fifth Avenue in New York City.