What is Easter?
Easter is known as one of the most significant holidays celebrated, in the Christian community. This holiday celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ who, they believe, is the son of God. This holiday exemplifies Jesus Christ’s victory over death.
Many Christians worldwide celebrate Easter with special church services, music, candlelight, flowers, and the ringing church bells. A lot of churches start the Easter Sunday celebrations at midnight on Easter Eve.
Candles are used in the churches all over the world to start the Easter Day Midnight celebrations. Candles symbolize for the Christians that Jesus is the light of the world and that when he rose to life on Easter Day he got rid of the darkness of evil. In some churches the service starts in darkness, then twelve candles are lit and are taken around the church lighting the rest of the candles. The churches are filled with flowers on this day, they represent new life.
In Italy, the Pope holds a very large Mass or Communion service in the St Peter’s Square of Vatican City, thousands of people from all over the world go to celebrate Easter day.
The Easter eggs, also called Paschal eggs, are decorated eggs that are usually used as gifts. The older tradition was to paint over chicken eggs though now they are replaced by chocolate eggs wrapped in foil or plastic eggs filled with confectionery such as chocolate. The eggs symbolize the empty tomb of Jesus when he was resurrected and old tradition talks of painted the eggs red that symbolized the blood that was shed on the day of his crucifixion.
This custom can be traced back to the early Christians of Mesopotamia from where it spread into Russia, and Siberia and so on and so forth.
There is no specific mention of the Easter bunny in the scriptures. However, the long-eared furry creature has actually come from a folklore that thrives to this day. The Easter Bunny is thought to go around the houses at the time of night and lay or place colorful eggs for the kids. A theory suggests that the bunny is derived from the pagan goddess of Eostre.
As Christianity spread, the missionaries went around relaying the message of the religion, often times they would make a few additions from the paganism to show how similar both the religions are, and from there the concept of the Easter Bunny came to light.
History of Easter
Some historians believe that the Easter holiday is actually a mix match of three traditions Pagan, Hebrew, and Christian. According to St. Bede, an English historian of the early 8th century Easter owes its origins to the old Teutonic myth of the Anglo Saxon goddess, Eostre for spring.
What to do When You Come Back from Church?
There are a lot of fun things that a family can do during Easter after they come from the formal celebration. They can invite friends over and make a full day out of it.
Easter egg hunt: why not take your kids to a nearby Easter egg hunt? There is bound to be one going on near you or, better yet, why not organize an Easter hunt yourself? All you have to is wrap up some eggs made of chocolate or plastic, with chocolate in them, and place them around your garden, park, or any area that would work as a sneaky hiding place.
Easter Cruise: surely there must be some cruises going on in the nearby lakes, which last for 90 minutes. This would be a wonderful idea to get your kids to go outdoors and have some fun, plus you will get to meet new people and celebrate Easter with them.
Full blown yard cookout fun: you can organize a cookout in your garden or park for your family and invite other families over. You can have some games organized for the children and have someone over wearing a bunny costume. The kids in your family are going to love that!
In the meantime, you can make BBQ for everyone to savor after a long day of activities.
Help someone else: religious are often days forgiving. Why not head on over to the nearest volunteering shelter and help out? Take your children along with you, this would instill in them the concept of charity and helping those in need. You can also have a small charity in your yard where you can cook food and set up a stall, your children can help you package the food and the seating etc, while they also serve it to those in need.
Attend a musical or theatre show: there are likely to be several shows organized by artsy folks celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. During these shows you are likely to see the actors play out the story of what happened that lead to the formation of Easter holiday.
This would be a learning lesson for your children. Children are often very responsive to visual learning and enjoy musicals so this would be a much interesting and effective way of getting your children to learn about Easter than any other.
Kids day out: you can organize a kids-only party in your garden where they can make things out of paper plates, popsicles, and clay. Just make sure that the safety precautions with the scissors are taken. You can install a photo booth where the kids can take pictures with their creations. You can even bake a bunny cake if you're feeling extra creative.
Peep Olympics: sort of like the kids day out you can organize activities which are more physical in nature. Either with your own family, or you can invite other families over, you can enjoy games like a relay race, hopsack, three-legged race, etc. ---turn it into a small causal Olympic event which all the participants can enjoy.
Do remember to distribute gifts to the participants in the games, maybe a Bargain Bows Hair Bow.All of these activities are surely bound to make Easter memorable for you and your children.