On Sunday, April 20, 2014, Christians celebrate it. Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christians believe that according to the Bible, Jesus came back to life from the dead, three days after his death on the cross. The essential part of Easter season is the crucifixion of Jesus Christ until his death. Through his death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus paid the penalty for sin, thus purchasing for all who believe in Him, eternal life in Christ.
Before the day came, there was always a Lent; 40-day period of fasting, repentance, moderation, abstinence, and spiritual discipline. The "40 days" period was started from Ash Wednesday to Palm Sunday, Holy Week, with Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and finally lead up to Easter.
Good Friday, is it good as its name?
I believe everyone (even the crazy ones) knows that mourning for the most beloved one is not a good idea to be considered as a good event. That Friday before Easter Sunday is to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus. It is so hurt to explain, you may watch the movie Passion of The Christ by Mel Gibson. Of course, that's not a good memory, even worse than the worst ever, but the meaning of "Good" is considered as "Holy" that the Christ has showed His love for men and purchased for Him every blessing by His death (The answer is given by Baltimore Catechism).
|A Screenshot of Passion of The Christ movie|
However, it also makes sense that Good Friday is adopted from German phrase "Gute Freitag", but it is not. In fact, Germans refer to Good Friday as Karfreitag - which means Suffering Friday.
What did you do during the Lent?
As I have written above, I followed the rules for fasting and abstinence in the Catholic Church. The rules, however, can be modified by the conference of bishops for each particular country, or in the Eastern Churches, for each particular rite. In this case, i'm in the territory of Eastern Churches.
The fasting rules for Catholics are different from the Moslems. Here, the fast means that you only eat just once in a day and restrict the food that you usually eat. For you who are used to eat three times a day, you may have meals three times too, but you have to be full just once at one time. It may be like you eat less food in the morning, then you have a regular lunch at noon, and then you have a small portion for dinner. You may choose the time for enjoying your food a lot.
Catholics must fast on Ashy Wednesday and every Friday until Good Friday, the total is 7 days during the Lent. You are also allowed to fast every day before Easter. The main point is to control the appetite and to be empathy with the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. However, it needs your own prudence to decide how much you want to do for your Christ by fasting and how far your body can adapt to this condition.
For the abstinence, you may include it from all meat while you fast. But anyway, it doesn't have to be limited for food. Examples of the abstinence are avoiding cigarette (smoking), not to have any sweets, not to watch adult entertainment or movies too much.
Are rabbits and eggs the symbol of Easter?
I don't think so. Like Santa Claus, Easter Bunny is also a special figure - fantasy character in particular occasion, which is represented as the judge, evaluating whether children were good or disobedient in behaviour at the Easter season. Easter bunny brings a basket filled with colorful eggs, tasty sweets or toys for good children at the night before Easter and hides it somewhere inside or outside heir house, so that the children have to look for to get it the day after.
Eggs, like rabbits, are the symbols of fertility and birth marking. Rabbits give a large birth in the beginning of spring, while the custom of an Easter eggs hunt began because children believed that rabbits laid eggs in the grass. The Romans believed that "All life comes from an egg". That's why this 'seed of life' perception becomes the representation of Jesus Christ resurrection.
I think the dyed eggs with various color don't come from any certain custom, but it makes sense since they are given as gifts for children and for the decorative value.
For further references, if you want to learn more you can find them here:
In Bahasa Indonesia:
That's all information i have about Easter! I had a good time that day, what about you?