Easter is the oldest, the most important and the most beautiful holiday for Christians, because on this day we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on the third day after his crucifixion. But only a few know that Easter was originally a pagan celebration in honor of the goddess of spring and fertility in Germany. The goddess was called Eastre which means east and from her name is derived the German word for Easter – Ostern. Her feast was always celebrated on the first full moon in spring. People used to dance with swords, which was considered to be a fight between the god of the son with the winter powers who regularly lose this battle in this season. These pagan activities were a thorn in the eye of the church, so the First Council of Nicaea in 325 year, has decided the most important holiday in Christianity to be celebrated on the first Sunday after the full moon.
Easter customs are different across the Christians in the world, but almost all Christians attend sunrise services in the church and decorate Easter eggs which are the symbols of this holiday. Easter is a movable feast and that means that it is not always held on the same date. There are many interesting fact about Easter that you may not know, so continue reading to find out some Easter fun facts:
Easter is celebrated each year on the first Sunday after the full moon which happens on or after March 21.
The date of Passover is variable as it is dependent on the phases of the moon, and that’s why Easter is a movable feast.
Americans celebrate Easter with a large Easter egg hunt on the White House Lawn which is a tradition since 1878.
The tradition of painting eggs is called Pysanka.
The custom of giving eggs at Easter time has been traced back to Egyptians, Persians, Gauls, Greeks and Romans, to whom the egg was a symbol of life and resurrection.
The first chocolate eggs were made in Europe (Germany), in the early 19th century. Chocolate eggs remained as the most popular treats associated with Easter.
In medieval times in churches were held festivals of egg-throwing. The priest would throw a hard-boiled egg to one of the choir boys and then it was tossed from one choir boy to the next and whoever held the egg when the clock struck 12 was the winner and retained the egg.
Christians consider Easter eggs to be symbols of joy and celebration, new life and resurrection.
90 million chocolate Easter bunnies and 16 million jelly beans are made for Easter each year.
76% of people eat the ears on the chocolate bunnies first.
The largest Easter egg ever made was over 25 feet high and weighed 8,968 lbs according to the Guinness Book of World Records.