Easter celebration can be summed up in one word and that is fun. After 40 days of Lent wherein you abstain from eating non-veg or drinking as an escape from worldly desires, this festival is a day that all Christians finally indulge in all that they abstained from. In countries or states with a high percentage of the Christian population, there are jubilant parades and delicious festive foods that are prepared specially for Easter.
Although it is a joyous event, just like other festivals there are certain religious practices one must follow on Easter. On this day many years ago Jesus Christ had resurrected, hence praying to him and going to church for mass is very important. Festivities are accompanied by singing and dancing to celebrate Christ’s reincarnation and there are special Easter prayers that are chanted right through the day.
Significance Of Easter
Easter was already a celebration long before the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Jewish people celebrated the first Sunday after a vernal equinox as Passover. This celebration was not as extravagant as the current festival but it was a festival nevertheless. There are other beliefs concerning this day and some are pagan beliefs too like the Saxon goddess.
The bible states that Jesus was crucified on Good Friday and his followers buried him in secret following all Jewish traditions. When the tomb was checked on Sunday his body had disappeared implying that he had resurrected. This day then came to be known as Easter. A lot of traditions and cultures have festivals around this time because it is a very auspicious event. This event distinguishes Jesus Christ from other prophets and teachers because it is believed he overcame death itself. He was punished by the Romans because they believed that he was lying about being “Son of God”
Earlier the Saxons celebrated Eostre as a festival of renewal and rebirth, but later this festival was called Easter and became an event that symbolized the resurrection of Christ. Easter celebration and the original pagan festival were celebrated around the same time, therefore, the Easter eggs and bunny tradition started. The bunny and eggs were a symbol of the pagan goddess and have continued to exist to this day.
There are a lot of interesting facts hidden in the maze of Easter history, here are a few of them:
- When Christ was crucified he was wearing a purple coat and a crown of thorns. The purple coat was used by Romans because the colour signified royalty and Christ was usually referred to as the King of Jews.
- It is said that a simple egg seller had helped Jesus carry the heavy cross and after returning to his shop, he saw that all the eggs he had were covered in intricate patterns and colours. This is also one of the reasons why Easter eggs are distributed on this day
- The main significance of Easter is the resurrection of the faith of Christianity. It is stated that when Jesus died he took on the burden of all the sins of his followers. This meant that his followers can walk on a new path free of sins
Celebrations & Easter Prayers
There are many ways to celebrate Easter at home or as a joint community but there are a few key practices and rituals no one should omit:
- Preparations for the festival begin from Shrove Tuesday and then continue till Sunday
- The entire week before Easter Sunday is called the Holy Week
- There are events like Spy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Black Saturday
- Before the main festival day, people observe a vigil in remembrance of the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for his people
- People prepare Easter eggs and Easter cake which are then kept in baskets that are meant to be blessed by the Father
- Mass is conducted in the churches, wherein all the attendees are wearing new clothes to symbolize new beginnings
- Easter Bible verse is repeated by the Father on this auspicious occasion to remind everyone of the struggles Christ faced
- In Goa, there is a beach carnival that is held during this festival which attracts a huge crowd that indulge in singing, dancing, and watching open-air plays
- Easter desserts like cakes and bunny chocolates are in huge demand during the holy week. You can easily make Marzipan-flavoured desserts.
- All the churches around the world start preparing for the festival by hanging lights and attaching flower bouquets. All these serve as Easter decorations and are generally kept for 1 week or more
3 Important Easter Bible Verses For Everyone
- Matthew 21:5: “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”
- Peter 1:3: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
- John 14:6: Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me
These Easter bible verses should always be kept in mind, everyone should remember the sacrifices and struggles of Christ to atone for the sins of his followers.
Events Around Easter Sunday
- Palm Sunday: The last day of Lent when Jesus came to Jerusalem and was greeted by the crowd with much pomp and glory
- Holy Monday & Tuesday: These days don’t hold much importance but a few minor beliefs surrounding them can be found
- Spy Wednesday: This is the day when Judas Iscariot, a disciple became a traitor and helped the chief priests to capture Jesus
- Maundy Thursday: This day is associated with the last supper and the day before the crucifixion of Christ
- Good Friday: Jesus Christ was crucified on this day by the Romans and it is widely believed that he sacrificed himself for man’s sins
Ideas For Easter Decorations
- Make a basket at home using paper and cloth. Make patterns with the help of the younger members of the family. This activity will get them more interested in the festival and you can give Easter desserts as rewards
- To make your home feel more festive add few flowers to a used paint can (which you can repurpose by painting it). Make sure you add bright flowers for a better feel
Listed below are a few recipes that are not that well known. Make sure you experiment with these dishes before making them for Easter Sunday. Easter cakes and other such dishes have not been included because they are quite well known. The Deviled eggs are a good way to use eggs in a savoury dish, unlike the well-known Easter Eggs.
1. Lemon Glazed Carrots
Want to treat your taste buds to something tangy? Give this Lemon Glazed Carrots recipe a shot.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
- 2 carrots (¼ inch thick sliced)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- A pinch of salt and pepper
- Place the carrots in a vessel and pour water and bring to a boil, cook for 8 minutes and then drain.
- Heat butter in a pan over low to medium heat, cook and stir the carrots with brown sugar and lemon juice for 2 minutes.
2. Classic Deviled Eggs
Deviled Eggs are a much-loved side dish for good reason! You can’t go wrong with a classic; they’re perfect alongside Easter brunch or great for a snack on the go!
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
- 6 eggs
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tsp vinegar (white)
- 1 tsp yellow mustard
- ⅛ tsp salt
- Pepper and paprika for garnish
- Boil and peel the egg and dry with paper towels.
- Slice the egg in half lengthwise.
- Remove the yolks into a bowl and place the whites on a serving plate.
- Mash yolks, add mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper, mix well.
- Evenly put yolk mixture into egg whites, sprinkle paprika, and serve.
3. Grilled Lemon Rosemary Chicken
Here’s a simple dish with big bold lemon and rosemary flavours, that’s made with very few ingredients. It’s great by itself but can also be used on top of salad greens as another creative dinner option.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
- 4 chicken breasts
- Lemon zest from 1 large lemon
- 1 ½ tbsp rosemary
- 1 tsp garlic
- 1 tsp pepper (kali mirch)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp red chilli flakes
- Combine lemon zest, rosemary, garlic, chilli flakes, pepper and olive oil in a bowl.
- Rub the chicken breast with this mix and allow to sit for 30 minutes.
- Add chicken breast to preheated oiled grill and allow to cook to a light golden brown.
- Flip chicken to the other side and grill for 6 to 8 minutes. Remove chicken to a serving plate and rub with the leftover mixture. Cover with foil for 5 minutes.
Easter Sunday meaning is truly a complicated and complex matter. The recipes and celebrations are to this festival. Ushering in the springtime with this festival is by far the best way to spend the first Sunday after the vernal equinox.
In the spirit of Easter, you can Shop for Native Tongue’s Assorted Nut Butter Mini Series for gifting purposes. It includes mini jars of Thandai Nut Butter, Gurbandi Almond Butter, Cashew Coconut Butter, and Marzipan Cashew Butter. You can also Buy a single jar of Native Tongue’s Marzipan Nut Butter to use in your Easter recipes.
Both are available at the Red Dot Shop.