Beautiful Easter Wishes and Greetings. Easter, also called Resurrection Day and Pascha, is a Christian holiday celebrating Jesus Christ returning from the dead. Christians believe that it is the holiest day in the year. Some people who are not Christians celebrate it as a cultural holiday.
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Easter is not held on the same date every year. This is called a moveable feast. Western churches, like the Roman Catholic Church, use the Gregorian calendar, while Eastern churches, like the Eastern Orthodox Church, use the Julian calendar. Because of this, the date of Easter celebrations is different for these two types of churches even though the way they calculate the date is similar. In 2015 Easter was celebrated on April 5 for both the Gregorian calendar and Julian calendar.
The word “Easter” is derived from Eastre, the name of the ancient German Goddess of Spring. Her festival occurred at the vernal equinox. The French word for Easter, Pâcques, comes from the Greek word for Passover, which is the Jewish holiday celebrated at about the same time of the year.
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Easter is celebrated in several ways in northern Europe and the United States. Most of these celebrations have nothing to do with the Christian meaning of the holiday. These celebrations are related more to the pagan festivals of ancient Germany. Children are given baskets filled with candy. Eggs are decorated and hidden for children to find that the “Easter Bunny” supposedly laid. People wear new clothes and go to church. Greeting cards are exchanged. An Easter Egg Roll is held on the lawn of the White House on the day after Easter. Small leafless trees or branches are carried indoors and decorated with colored eggs, paper trims, and lights. Some shopping malls offer children a chance to visit with an adult costumed as the Easter Bunny. Forced tulips, hyacinths and lilies are given as gifts. Week-long vacations are taken following Easter Day, giving families the chance to visit with distant relatives. In America, many families leave the cold of northern states to visit amusement parks or sunny beaches in the south. Spring break for American high school and college students usually occurs about Easter time.