Easter is an important holiday. It means hope and joy. At Easter we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ who defeated death and saved us from sin. Easter does not have a fixed date, like Christmas, but it is celebrated on the Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox, between March and April.
There is a difference between Passover (the Jewish festival) and Christian Easter. Passover celebrates the liberation of the Jews from slavery. In order to convince the pharaoh to free the Hebrews, God sent a terrible plague to Egypt: a divine breath that killed all the firstborn sons of the Egyptians. Before doing this, however, He had ordered Moses to tell the Hebrew people to kill a lamb, eat its flesh and use its blood to mark the doors of their homes so that the Divine breath would distinguish them from the Egyptians and pass over. This is why people eat lamb at Easter.
The Christian Easter, on the other hand, celebrates Jesus’ victory over death.
Easter Monday, or Angel Monday, celebrates the cherubic Angel who announced Jesus’ resurrection. In the past it was not a holiday in Italy, but it was added after the war to lengthen the Easter celebrations.
Easter is the first festival of spring, a celebration of sunshine, fresh air, good food and chocolate. Yet it has always been a less important holiday than Christmas for people.
It is the feast of hope and the wishes we exchange are a message of hope and joy.
In all traditions, the symbols of Easter represent rebirth and new life. And the eggs, decorated or chocolate, have precisely the meaning of a life that is about to be born.
In the past, during Lent, people were not allowed to eat meat or eggs. Hens, however, continued to lay eggs so that at the end of Lent peasants found themselves with lots of eggs that they boiled and decorated.
In many countries this tradition has been preserved and it has been joined by the more recent and commercial tradition of the chocolate egg.
In this time of war, suffering and pain, what to wish if not hope and peace?
Happy Easter to all!!!