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How Easter should be celebrated

Caitlyn Lear, News editor

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Bunnies do not lay eggs.

Most of us probably remember running around as children, collecting dyed eggs or plastic ones filled with candy or small toys. Our parents dressed us in pastel greens, pinks and yellows. If you were like my family, that also meant going to church and then to my great-grandparents house afterwards for a huge Sunday brunch in which another egg hunt ensued.

Easter has always been a nice time of year. It normally falls right after the start of spring, so there are flowers blooming, birds are singing again and the sun is shining. Everyone is out enjoying the nice weather and glad to be done with the cold and snow, unless you are in Erie, until next winter.

This holiday also means the celebration of Jesus Christ’s resurrection. Some consider it to be Christianity’s most important holiday. It has become known as the movable feast because, unlike other holidays, it does not fall on an exact date every year.

In the west, Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday following the full moon after the spring equinox, which is around March 21. So Easter can be celebrated anywhere from March 22 until April 25. Orthodox Christians, who follow the Julian calendar instead of the Gregorian calendar, normally celebrate the holiday a week or two after Western churches.

However, like many other religious holidays, Easter has become known for candy, baskets, eggs and bunnies.

Children get excited to dye eggs and hunt them as many times as possible. Parents fill baskets with jelly beans and speckled malt ball eggs and hide them for kids to find.

I can understand that these traditions have folk and pagan roots, but seriously, bunnies don’t lay eggs. So how is it that Easter has become associated with a giant bunny rabbit and egg hunts? It just does not make sense.

Plus, why is it that people are more focused on the one single Sunday, when the Easter holiday really encompasses the three months surrounding it? Lent, which spans the 40 days before Easter, is mostly ignored by those who celebrate Christ’s resurrection.

They have no problem celebrating Mardi Gras, which takes place the day before the start of Lent, but giving up even one temptation is too much to ask. Then, for the 50 days after Easter, Jesus’s ascension into heaven is celebrated, known as Eastertide.

I remember that when I went to church every Sunday with my grandparents, that this message was given each Sunday during the celebration period. As a child, I felt a bit bored sitting through the service, but it stuck with me after seven weeks of hearing the same thing.

We are taught to celebrate the ascension for 50 days and the resisting of temptation for 40 days, yet most people only manage to do it once or twice a week. I know some people that only give up things during Lent on Fridays and then Sundays. Or during Eastertide, the ascension is celebrated on Sundays, but Monday through Saturday, nobody cares.

People make such a big deal about Easter and everything, but they do not always remember what they are truly celebrating.

Easter is not just about bunnies and eggs, though it does make it fun and entertaining for any age. It’s also a religious celebration dating back thousands of years.

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The student news site of Mercyhurst University
How Easter should be celebrated