Happy Easter 2017! What is Good Friday, the meaning behind Easter Sunday and why do we celebrate with chocolate eggs?

Happy Easter 2017! What is Good Friday, the meaning behind Easter Sunday and why do we celebrate with chocolate eggs?

Happy Easter 2017! What is Good Friday, the meaning behind Easter Sunday and why do we celebrate with chocolate eggs?

Why does the date for Easter Sunday change each year according to the lunar calendar? Why do people mark Easter? We have all the answers to your questions

It is the time of year when eggs and chocolate bunnies are beginning to fill supermarket shelves and the thoughts of many people are turning to the religious history that began at Easter.

For many, the first holiday weekend of the year – with four days of rest – will have a particular appeal.

But Easter is the most confusing of dates – one that never sets and changes according to the lunar calendar.

Maybe you are planning a break with family or a weekend visiting friends. Or maybe you are looking forward to spending a long relaxing weekend at home.

Or perhaps you are wondering what the religious origin of Easter really is and what happened during Holy Week – Good Friday to Easter – to ensure that we all mark it.

What are the key dates for Easter 2017?

Good Friday April 14

Holy Saturday: April 15

Easter Sunday: April 16

Easter Monday: April 17

Who decided when Easter should fall?

A council of Christian bishops was convoked by the Roman emperor Constantine I in 325 AD, the First Council of Nicaea, which was the first effort of Christianity to reach a consensus on what the church taught.

At this council it was decided that Easter Day should fall on the first full moon after the Spring Equinox, and that it should always fall on a Sunday to represent the Day of Resurrection of Christ.

What’s it all about really?

Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus after his crucifixion, which is marked on Good Friday. Christians believe that he rose again three days later. The three days are known by the Church as the Easter Triduum.

The Easter season begins on Ash Wednesday – the first day of Lent, which lasts 40 days – if it is left out on the six Sundays between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. It is a time when Christians fast, or give up a particular food or vice. The fasting period is to remember when Jesus went into the wilderness and fasted for 40 days despite being tempted.

Ash Wednesday takes place after Carnival Tuesday, or Crepe Day, when rich foods like eggs are consumed before Lent and the fasting period begins.

Holy Week, also known as Holy Week, includes Holy Thursday, which marks the Last Supper that Jesus had with his 12 disciples.

What is Good Friday?

Good Friday is what Lent has been building – the death of Jesus. It may seem strange to call a day that someone died as “good”, but at the time it really meant “holy.” Christians remember how Jesus was whipped and carried, while carrying the cross, to the hillside where he was crucified with two criminals, even though he had done nothing wrong.

He was nailed to the cross there and went to die. This is why a cross is used as a symbol of the Christian faith.

What is Easter Saturday?

It is the most important day of the church year for Christians. It is when they believe that Jesus rose from the dead three days after being killed. It is often called the “resurrection.” The Bible says that the women returned to the tomb and found it open, told to go and say to the disciples, “He is Risen” – the one who is Jesus. It is only later, when Jesus is on the road and joins the walking disciples that he arises again. In the Bible it says that when all are gathered Jesus reveals himself to them, and doubting that Thomas touches his wounds as proof of who he is.

Traditions for Good Friday

In Spain, people who repent of something they have done wrong (penitents) will walk down the street wearing long robes, hoods and carrying a large cross.

In UK churches carry a cross and carry people through their towns near the church before the Good Friday service.

In Central American and South American countries there is often a procession with statues to the church. In Greece there is also a procession, but more like a funeral. Some services have tombs presented as a reminder of Jesus’ death.

A custom that has continued for Good Friday is the warm bread of the cross. Pastel buns have raisins in typical place, but most importantly the cross is on top – for the crucifix.

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