Among the most important festivals in the Christian calendar, Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter Sunday, also known as Resurrection Sunday, marks the end of a 40-day period of fasting, called Lent, which marks repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline.The date of celebrating Easter is not fixed; it is linked to the first Sunday of a full Moon day between March 21 and April 25, around the time of the Spring Equinox. The dates follow the Gregorian ecclesiastical rules established in 325 CE by the First Council of Nicaea. This ensures that Easter Sunday is observed all over the world on the same day and the dates can be calculated for an indefinite period in future. Most churches observe Easter according to the Gregorian calendar, but a few still follow the Julian calendar.Sacred Occasion On Easter Sunday, devotees attend church services and remember the sufferings that Jesus went through for the sake of humanity. The week preceding Easter is known as the Holy Week. The Friday before Easter Sunday is observed as Good Friday, the day Jesus was crucified.The festival is celebrated by Christians across the world. In India, the festivities are more visible in regions that have a large Christian population. Kerala, Goa, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Mizoram are among states that celebrate Easter with great religious fervour.
Easter is a time of happiness after weeks of fasting and abstinence. The ceremonies involve special prayers sung in praise of Jesus, followed by an elaborate Sunday mass, with happy music in the background.Many churches start Easter celebrations at midnight on Easter Eve. The followers light candles to remember that Jesus brought light into the world.Churches are filled with flowers on this special day. Priests wear festive robes. Attending the mass is the highlight of the day. After returning from the church, devotees have a feast that follows 40 days of fasting. People dress up in their Sunday best. There is a belief that a baby born on Good Friday and baptized on Easter Sunday will have the spiritual gift of healing.Special meals, made of egg and meat-based delicacies, are prepared, though the cuisine varies. The Easter egg is an integral part of family get-together, especially in the major cities of India. The Easter egg symbolizes joy, celebration, and new life.