Puddings and pies
Baked with joy
Easter eggs and Easter bunnies
So colourful as toys.
Candies such as marshmallows
That melt in the mouth
As the sweet sound of the cello
Cooling you down there is no doubt.
Dance nights and parties
Young and old having fun all day long
Feasts and fiestas
Cheering them up for long
Easter is not all about
Laughter and fun
But sacrifice, love and care throughout
Should shine on each other as the sun
Jesus Christ the Son of God
Woke from death
Giving us all hope
For new lives filled with peace.
Easter celebration in the Christian calendar is one of the most important events. Easter Sunday is the day when Christians celebrate the resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ. After Jesus’s crucifixion, death and burial, three days later he rose from the grave. From this, he conquered death and redeemed humankind from sin.
Easter traditions and activities can be traced back to pagan celebrations. The word Easter has come from the word Ostara, the goddess of rebirth. In the early days, the feast of Ostara celebrated earth’s resurrection and rebirth. However now Christians celebrate the importance of Easter by praising and acknowledging the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Easter Sunday comes after a forty-day period of lent. A lent period is meant for the Christians to reflect on the crucifixion of Jesus. It starts on Ash Wednesday when an ash cross is drawn on the forehead of people to remind man-made ash will someday become ash again. During this period of lent all Christians engages in various activities such as the way of the cross by which they reflect on what happened to Jesus from the garden of Gethsemane to the crucifixion at the Mount Calvary. They also pray for a continuous one hour called “the holy hour”.
The date of Easter Sunday varies from year to year. It is celebrated on the first Sunday after the full moon, on or after 21 March. In 2022 Easter Sunday is on 17 April. The week leading up to Easter Sunday is called the holy week. The holy week comprises special days which are Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Hallelujah Saturday. Palm Sunday, is the Sunday before Easter Sunday. This day celebrates Jesus’s arrival in Jerusalem riding on a donkey. Crowds of people came to greet him by throwing palm branches on the road. Maundy Thursday is the day when the Christians remember when Jesus ate the pass over a meal with his disciples, breaking bread and drinking wine. Christians call this meal last supper. Christians commemorate the Last supper by sharing bread and wine in the holy church called holy communion. It reminds us that Jesus sacrificed his life for mankind. Good Friday commemorates the execution of Christ by crucifixion. Usually, good Friday is a day filled with mourning in the church where Christians remember Jesus’s suffering on the cross. Hallelujah Saturday is the day Jesus lay down on the tomb dead.it is the day when the baptism vows are renewed. On Easter Sunday Mary Magdalena and some of Jesus’s disciples visited Jesus’s tomb. They found that the stone of the tomb has been moved and Jesus’s body has gone. Later on, many people had seen Jesus and realized that God raised Jesus from the dead. Christians call this the resurrection.
On Easter Sunday, Christians share Easter eggs and Easter bunnies made from chocolate and covered in coloured foil. Traditionally it was the practice to hard boil chicken eggs and decorate by hand.
The colour associated with Easter is purple. In ancient days purple dye was a prized commodity because it was difficult to extract. It was often only worn by kings and other royal members. Roman soldiers dressed Jesus in a purple robe in mockery. Churches display the colour purple during lent to display the hardships Jesus underwent during his passion.
With the arrival of Portuguese Christianity in Sri Lanka, from that date up to now, there are many followers of Christianity in Sri Lanka, especially in the coastal areas. The area Negombo where there is a majority of Christian community lives is given the name “Little Rome”. In 2019 the Christians of Sri Lanka were following the Easter mass in various nearby churches. There were two bomb blasts in two churches one at Katuwapitiya Negombo and the other at the Kochchikade world-famous St Anthony’s shrine, killing about 250 people and injuring about 500 people the joy of Easter was taken away from the hearts of the Sir Lankans with the death of these innocent people. This year too though we celebrate Easter to mark the resurrection of our Lord Jesus we remember the lives that were lost on this day while participating in the Easter mass.
Let us all celebrate the true meaning of Easter by sacrificing and sharing things with each other and by spreading love and the sign of peace-giving new meaning to Jesus’s resurrection.
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