Easter, also called Resurrection Day, is a holiday. Among Christians, it is a celebration of Jesus Christ returning from the dead. Christians believe that it is the holiest day in the year. Some people who are not Christians celebrate it as the beginning of Spring.
Importance to Christians
Jesus died on the cross about 2000 years ago in a city called Jerusalem (most of Jerusalem is in the modern country of Israel). The people who killed him did so because they believed that he was causing trouble for the government, and because he was claiming to be the Messiah. When they crucified him (meaning they nailed him to a cross), they even hung a sign over his head, which said, “King of the Jews.” The day he was crucified is known by Christians as Good Friday.
The New Testament states that on the Sunday after Jesus was killed, his body was no longer in the tomb where he was laid. Later, Jesus is said to have appeared to over 500 people and preached to them. The New Testament teaches that the resurrection of Jesus is what Christianity is based on. The resurrection made people believe that Jesus was the powerful Son of God. It is also spoken of as proof that God will judge the world fairly. Christians believe that God has given Christians “a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”. Christians believe that through faith in God they are spiritually made alive with Jesus so that they may lead a new life.
Customs and traditions
Easter is celebrated in several ways in northern Europe and the United States. Most of these celebrations have nothing to do with the Christian meaning of the holiday. These celebrations are related more to the pagan festivals of ancient Germany. Children are given baskets filled with candy. Eggs are decorated and hidden for children to find. People wear new clothes and go to church. Greeting cards are exchanged. An Easter Egg Roll is held on the lawn of the White House on the day after Easter. Small leafless trees or branches are carried indoors and decorated with coloured eggs, paper trims, and lights. Some shopping malls offer children a chance to visit with an adult costumed as the Easter Bunny. tulips, hyacinths and lilies are given as gifts.
Nursery and Reception have been busy once again learning all about the importance of Easter to millions of Christians around the world. We did lots of reading and writing about the history of Jesus, his resurrection and learnt the significance of the Easter egg. The children had a go at designing egg ornaments to be sold in shops. Whilst nursery used paints to create repeating patterns, Reception had a go at sewing!
We also worked together to follow a simple recipe to bake chocolate nests- representing the beginning of spring. They turned out really well and tasted divine!