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Easter 2023

Authored by Alice Broome
Published on 9th April, 2023 2 min read

Easter

Easter Sunday is a significant event in Christianity, commemorating the resurrection of Jesus following his crucifixion by the Romans. Celebrations usually begin on Palm Sunday, which alludes to the palm leaves used to greet Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem, and is the beginning of Holy Week. Holy Week marks the end of Lent – a period of forty days, where Christians usually sacrifice items they value, such as indulgent foods, to mirror the forty days Jesus spent fasting in the desert. Holy Week continues with Maundy Thursday (when Jesus enjoyed his Last Supper with his Twelve Apostles) and Good Friday (when Jesus was crucified). Easter Sunday follows three days after Good Friday, in accordance with the New Testament, which states Jesus’ resurrection occurred on the third day following his crucifixion.

This year, Easter Sunday falls on Sunday the 9th of April however, this date changes yearly depending on the Gregorian calendar for Western Christians and the Julian calendar for Eastern Orthodox Christians. For Western Christians, Easter Sunday is always between the 22nd March and the 25th April. To facilitate celebrations, Good Friday and Easter Monday are both bank holidays (excluding Easter Monday in Scotland).

The Christian celebration of Easter is closely related to the Jewish holiday of Passover, as the Last Supper was a Passover Seder (Feast). The New Testament develops the idea of the Passover Seder, by describing the Last Supper as symbolising the sacrifice Jesus would soon make and comparing the bread and wine shared as his body and blood. This has become a tradition constituting Holy Communion, where individuals are invited to eat bread and drink wine, in order to feel the presence of Jesus.

Today, Easter is celebrated through a diverse range of customs and traditions, both religious and non-religious. An iconic symbol of Easter is now the Easter egg, which signifies new life and rebirth. In Western cultures, the Easter egg is usually made of chocolate or sweets, as many people choose to sacrifice these items for Lent. Also of cultural importance is the anthropomorphised Easter bunny, which is said to visit houses and leave gifts, similar to Santa Claus at Christmas. The use of the rabbit is similarly to symbolise life and rebirth.

British Online Archives would like to wish everyone celebrating a very happy Easter!


Authored by Alice Broome

Alice Broome

Alice Broome is an Editorial Assistant at British Online Archives. She is a Philosophy, Politics, and Economics graduate from the University of York.


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The British Online Archives Notable Days diary is a platform intended to mark key dates and events throughout the year. The posts draw attention to historical events and figures, as well as recurring cultural traditions and international awareness days, in both religious and secular contexts.

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