Easter is a Christian festival which celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The holiday falls on April 21 this year and will be celebrated all across the globe. According to the New Testament of the Bible, Easter occurs three days after the crucifixion of Jesus by Romans.
After being executed on a cross on Good Friday, Jesus was buried in a tomb. That first Easter, some 2,000 years ago, God the Father raised Jesus from the dead. The account is found in all four Gospels of the New Testament in the Bible.
The word Easter mostly likely comes from the Anglo Saxon month ‘Eostremonath’ which was about the time of year we now call April, when the Christian festival was held. The month seems to be named after a German goddess ‘Eostre’ or ‘Ostara’. But the only reference to this name is from the early historian Bede in 725 AD. And we’re not 100% sure he was accurate! But having the festival named after the month it took place in seems to make sense.
Easter follows a period of fasting called Lent, in which many churches set aside time for repentance and remembrance. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Good Friday, the day of Jesus’ crucifixion. The 40 day period was established by Pope Gregory 1 using the 40-day pattern of Israel, Moses, Elijah and Jesus’ time in the wilderness.
The week leading up to Easter is called The Holy Week, or “Passion Week”, and includes Palm Sunday (the day Jesus entered Jerusalem and was celebrated), Maundy Thursday (the “Last Supper” where Jesus met with his disciples to observe Passover), and Good Friday (when Jesus would be crucified on the cross).