Easter is celebrated by many Christians to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Special church services are held, and in some countries there are processions. Christian beliefs of the holiday are coupled with pagan traditions. During pagan times there were spring festivals that celebrated the rebirth of nature—of new vegetation and young animals. This is how eggs and bunnies became associated with the holiday. The day's name is thought to have come from Eostara, also known as Ostara, who was the goddess of rebirth.
The decorating of eggs is a common Easter tradition. The eggs may be hard-boiled to be eaten later or may be made of plastic, chocolate, or other materials. Easter egg hunts are common, sometimes being organized by businesses or churches, where eggs are hidden for children, who are told it was the work of the Easter Bunny. Easter egg baskets are also often given to children, and regularly include candy, eggs, and other gifts.
Easter is not a federal holiday in the United States. Since it falls on a Sunday, many businesses may already be closed, but some that are usually open may close because of the holiday, or have shortened hours. Easter takes place on the Sunday after the full moon following the spring equinox. This was decided at the Council of Nicea in 325 CE.
Easter is observed next on Sunday, April 21st, 2019. It has always been observed the first Sunday after the full moon following the March Equinox.
How to Observe
If you are a Christian, celebrate the day by attending a church service. Trying your hand at decorating Easter eggs may be a fun way to spend the day. If you have children, why not take them to an Easter egg hunt or get them an Easter basket? As the holiday is associated with rebirth and spring, this is also a good day to get outside and enjoy the warming weather.
|Observed||First Year||Last Year|
|the first Sunday after the full moon following the March Equinox||-||-|