Easter is celebrated around the globe not only by Christians, but also many people who do not practice any religion at all. In Christian religions, Easter is the most important feast that commemorates the death and resurrection of the Son of God, a sacrifice made to save the humanity. To feel the spirit of Easter holiday, it is not necessarily to be a deeply religious and believing person. Easter holiday is the symbol of goodness, love and forgiveness. It is also the symbol of the beginning of spring and a new life after a long winter. Easter holiday doesn’t have a specific date of celebration. The date of the holiday is calculated according to a church calendar, which originally is connected with the moon phases. The origins of this holiday are dating back to ancient times. The very word “Easter” or “Passover” comes from the Hebrew “pesach” that means “transition”.
The main symbol of the Easter holiday is an Easter egg. The Easter egg is a symbol of life, abundance and eternal life cycle. It is a symbol of all good that was given to people by the God. The largest Easter egg in the world is located in the town of Vegreville in Canada. The Easter egg, the so called ‘Vegreville Pysanka’, is made of debris of the plane, is about 8 meters high and 5 meters wide, while its weight is about 2 tones.
It is a custom to make an Easter basket in Poland. The basket is decorated with greenery, which also has a symbolic meaning. Buxus and myrtle are symbols of immortality and eternal life. The embroidered towel, which is used to cover Easter basket, is a symbol of life and eternity.
In Poland, the lamb is another important symbol of Easter. The lamb has always been a sacrificial animal, a symbol of humility, innocence and boundless love. That is why bread and chocolate in the form of lamb are so popular in Poland during the Easter period.
One more interesting fact about Easter. In England there is the oldest Paska (Easter bread) that was baked on Good Friday in 1821. The family relic has been preserved by the Londoner Nancy Titman. The Paska didn’t grow mouldy at all and it still smells like the fresh one. What is more, the image of the cross is clearly preserved on it.
The rabbit is another, still one of the main characters of the Catholic Easter. In many European countries children believe that Easter Rabbit brings sweets and chocolate eggs to their houses.
In Poland Easter holidays are celebrated for two days. The first day is Easter itself, while the next day is called Easter Monday. This day the Poles have a habit of watering each other. This old tradition means a peculiar wish of health and success.