Happy Easter!

Easter, one of the most important Christian holidays, celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The holiday includes a series of events and holidays that begins with Lent and ends with Holy Week. Lent starts on Ash Wednesday and lasts for 40 days (not including Sundays) to represent the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness. Observant Christians spend the 40 day period fasting, engaged in prayer and sacrifice. 

The Holy Week Includes: 
  • Palm Sunday- the Sunday immediately prior to Easter. It commemorates Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem when followers laid palm leaves across the road to greet him.
  • Holy Thursday- also known as Maundy Thursday, is the celebration of Jesus' Last Supper with his 12 Apostles
  • Good Friday- the day in which Jesus' crucifixion is observed
  • Easter Sunday

This holiday is held each year on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the northern spring equinox. The date is between March 21st and April 25th. This year, Easter is on Sunday, March 31. 

A Few Facts

  1. Easter is always celebrated on the Sunday after the full moon following March 21st, which is the official beginning of Spring.
  2. The act of painting eggs originated from a Ukrainian tradition. For many generations, Ukrainians have decorated eggs to call out to the Gods and Goddesses of health and fertility. This traditional act of pysanka is made by using wax and dyes, but this colorful custom didn't take off until Ukrainian immigrants came to the U.S..
  3. The White House Easter Egg roll tradition started in 1878. The story goes that President Rutherford B. Hayes was taking a walk when children approached him asking about a possible Easter egg roll. He loved the idea and it's been one of the most popular annual White House events ever since.
  4. In Greece, those who celebrate Easter through the Orthodox Church dye eggs a singular shade of red. This is symbolic since they use the eggs to represent rebirth and the color red for Jesus' blood.
  5. During the easter season, Americans will consume more than 16 million jelly beans. That's enough jelly beans to circle the globe not once, not twice, but three times, or enough to fill a plastic egg the size of a nine-story building.
  6. In Ethiopia, Christians celebrate "Fasika", which is the Amharic word for Easter, and refers to the 55-day period of time leading up to Easter Sunday. During this time, all meat and animal products are eliminated from meals until after Sunday service when Fasika ends with a celebration of food, dancing, and family.
  7. Twelve out of the 50 states consider the Friday before Easter an actual federal holiday. Most of the country will go to work on Good Friday.
  8. In Guatemala and Honduras, one Easter tradition is when families use materials such as petals, sawdust, and palm leaves to transform the streets into colorful carpets called alfombras.



Orthodox Easter

Orthodox Easter is celebrated by Orthodox Christians to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus within the Christian tradition. It is celebrated on the Sunday after the first full moon after Passover. This falls between April 4 and May 8 each year because Orthodox Christians use the Julian Calendar rather than the Gregorian Calendar. This year, Orthodox Easter will be celebrated on Sunday, April 16. Families primarily, but not exclusively, from the countries of Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Lebanon, Republic of North Macedonia, Romania, and Russia celebrate this holiday.