festival of the Christian church commemorates the resurrection of
Jesus Christ. It is a movable feast; that is, it is not always held on the same date. In
AD 325 the church council of Nicaea decided that it should be celebrated on the first
Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox of March 21. Easter can
come as early as March 22 or as late as April 25.
The name Easter comes from Eostre,
an ancient Anglo-Saxon goddess, originally of the dawn.
In pagan times
an annual spring festival was
held in her honor.
Some Easter customs have come
from this and other pre-Christian spring festivals. Others come
from the Passover feast of the Jews, observed in memory of their
deliverance from Egypt.
The word paschal comes from a
Latin word that means belonging to Passover or to Easter.
Formerly, Easter and the Passover were closely associated.
Easter customs come from
the Old World.
The white lily, the symbol of the resurrection, is
the special Easter flower.
Rabbits and colored eggs have
come from pagan antiquity as symbols of new life.
The Easter rabbit, a symbol
of fertility, and in colored Easter eggs, originally painted with
bright colors to represent the sunlight of spring, and used in
Easter-egg rolling contests or given as gifts.
on Easter Monday , a custom of European origin, has become a
tradition on the lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C.
During the Octave of Easter in early Christian times, the newly
baptized wore white garments, white being the liturgical color of
Easter and signifying light, purity, and joy.
The resurrection of Jesus took place during
the Passover. Christians of the Eastern church initially
celebrated both holidays together. But the Passover can fall on
any day of the week, and Christians of the Western church
preferred to celebrate Easter on Sunday the day of the
Read the message
THE MESSAGE URBI ET ORBI
Rai Vaticano - From Piazza San Pietro the message and the
benediction of Papa Benedetto XVI for the Holy Easter.