Why is it called “Easter” plus some Traditions

In 381 A.D. Theodosious the Great, born in Spain and converted Christian himself called for a second Council in Constantinople to ratify the creed of the Council of Nicaea (325) as the universal norm for Christian doctrine, and implemented The Codex Theodosianus forbidding all forms of pagan religious practices including Arianism considered heresy. He made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. Countries all over the world still celebrate “Easter” using the Hebrew name for Passover “Pesach”, and dependent on the Hebrew calendar.

In U.S.A, we celebrate “Easter” using the name of a pre-Christian goddess in England, Eostre, who was celebrated at beginning of spring,  as a time of renewal, and fertility. The only reference to this goddess comes from the writings of the Venerable Bede, a British monk who lived in the late seventh and early eighth century.

That is why eggs, and rabbits became an important symbol of the “Resurrection of Christ” to this day all over the world.

Today, there are reenactments of Jesus’s last supper [Maundy Thrusday], and crucifixtion, religious processions, and  a church service, where the tone of the readings and music is always joyful. and then there is the family Easter dinner including a pork ham that fast breaks the 40 days of fast during Lent. Dinner must include peas and hard boiled eggs which are the symbol of Spring. People wear new clothes and in the olden days they wore “bonnetts” 

In the United States, egg shells, real or plastic are filled with candy or money and hidden for children to find as their treasure.

On a personal note, I remember, coming out of the church service and there were vendors selling egg shells filled with water, flour, and confetti, and the kids tried to break one of those egg shells on the head of a friend, and sometimes it ended up in glue on your hair. They also sold all kinds of sweet pastries including “buñuelos” and sweets made out of coconut, sunflower seeds, almonds, and milk. They also sold papier-mâché figures called “Judas” that will be blown up at night.

In many European countries, the tradition is to bake an egg bread and insert coloured hardboiled eggs in it, and in Easter Europe they have a special way of decorating Easter eggs called “Pisanchy” eggs.

Books on Easter cooking and traditions to read or gift.

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