Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter!

The Easter Bunny visited our house this morning -- thanks to my sisterAngela & her husband Ari
Without a doubt, the most popular Christian holiday in the world is Christmas. It’s even widely celebrated in non-Christian countries – Japan, for instance. I guess everybody loves giving & getting presents, regardless of their religion! However, probably the most important Christian holiday is Easter.

Easter is closely linked to the Jewish holiday of Passover. Passover is held the first Saturday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox [March 21st – when day and night are both exactly 12 hours]. This year, Passover fell on April 7th – yesterday! Christians believe that Jesus Christ was executed [killed by the government] on Good Friday, the day before Passover. Two days later, he came back to life, proving to everyone that he was the Son of God.

Traditionally, children celebrated Easter by decorating hard-boiled eggs and then giving them to friends & family. Recently, children are given gifts of decorated chocolate eggs, rabbits, and chicks. They are told that the chocolates were delivered to their homes by the Easter Bunny early in the morning while they were still sleeping.

The eggs, rabbits & chicks are all symbols of new life used in ancient European spring festivals celebrated thousands of years before the birth of Jesus Christ. Even the name “Easter” comes from these ancient festivals. Eastre was the ancient German goddess of spring.

Even if you’re not Christian, you can still celebrate Easter. It’s easy – just eat some chocolate!

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