Throughout the year, there are various festivals that are recognised and celebrated by cultures and religions around the world. Here at NWSLC, we seek to encourage students and staff to learn more about them. Starting next week, with the support of our Chaplaincy, we want to move this conversation here, with you, too.
#AllFaithsAndNone will invite you to discover more about world religions, cultures, spirituality and various celebrations and will hopefully encourage you to see the world from another perspective.
Stay tuned, we’re starting on Monday with some really interesting information about Easter! All you have to do is refresh this blog post.
Meanwhile, discover more about our Chaplaincy here.
Fact no. 1: Happy Easter!
Easter is a Christian festival that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But the word ‘Easter’ actually comes from an Anglo-Saxon word for a Pagan festival, ‘Eostre’. This was a Pagan spring festival that celebrated the growing sun (Eostre means ‘to shine’) but over time was replaced by the Christian month of Pascha (Passover) which is a celebration of Christ’s resurrection. In fact, the word ‘Pascha’ is still used today in Eastern and Orthodox Churches as the name for Easter.
Fact no. 2:
Why are bunnies, eggs and chocolate connected to Easter? There are a few theories, but as ever, traditions have grown over time. Eating eggs was discouraged in the run-up to Easter (Holy Week), so eggs that were laid were saved and decorated. These were then given as gifts. The idea of chocolate eggs appeared in France and Germany in the 19th Century and as chocolate-making improved, they became popular. As for bunnies, they have traditionally been a symbol of new life.
Photo by Giftpundits
Fact no. 3:
For Christians, the Easter period is centred on Jesus of Nazareth. As a historical person, there is evidence for Jesus’ life and death. Within a few decades of his lifetime, Jesus is mentioned by Jewish and Roman historians, as well as by dozens of Christian writings. Over the past 15 years, modern scholars have broadly accepted that a person called Jesus of Nazareth existed and died in the manner depicted by the 4 gospels.
Fact no. 4:
A Moveable Feast – Easter is always around March / April time, but why does it move every year? The actual date of Easter is always after the first full moon of Spring, according to ancient church calculations. For the purpose of calculating Easter, the Spring Equinox is always on the 21st March. This means Easter can fall any time between March 22nd and April 25th.
Fact no. 5:
Easter is probably the most important festival in the church calendar. For Christians, it is a celebration of Jesus resurrection, which is at the heart of Christianity. According to the biblical narrative, Jesus was crucified and buried in a cave tomb. On the Sunday after, Mary Magdalene, followed later by some of Jesus’ disciples, visited the tomb to find the entrance open and the body gone.