It seems that there are always holidays, events and traditions all around the Easter period. This means that it can be hard to keep up and often it is easy to forget when each holiday is and how you should be celebrating. This post will look at the days on either side of Easter and what they mean.
Ash Wednesday follows Pancake Day and is the start of Lent – this means that it is a day of strict fasting and abstinence. It is always 46 days before Easter Sunday.
Palm Sunday takes place a week before Easter Sunday and commemorates Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem when palm branches were put down on his path so that he could walk on them. It marks the final week of Lent and the beginning of the Holy Week.
Maundy Thursday, also known as Holy Thursday, is the day that Jesus celebrated Passover and commemorates the Washing of the Feet and Last Supper.
Good Friday is the day that Jesus Christ was condemned to death and crucified by the Romans. It is a day of reflection, silence and fasting and is often called Silent Friday. Catholics partake in The Stations of the Cross – a 14 step devotion focusing on specific events during his final day.
The church bells are silent on Easter Saturday with no service. It is the day of the Holy Sepulchre, which is when believers focus on the pain and grief of the crucifixion.
The celebration of Jesus Christ’s resurrection and the victory of life over death. It is considered to be the highest celebration of Christianity and a point of focus with the resurrection establishing the belief in life after death. This is also a day filled with fun traditions that believers and non-believers partake in, such as having chocolate easter eggs delivered and exchanging them, painting eggshells and an easter egg hunt.
Easter Monday is the day that concludes observing Christ’s resurrection.
Pentecost is celebrated on the 50th day from Easter Sunday and commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, which caused them to speak in tongues and allowed direct communication with God.
As you can see, it is certainly a busy time of the year around Easter and there are lots of traditions to be aware of. Whether a believer or a non-believer, Easter can be a time of the year for spending time with loved ones, reflecting and celebrating.