This week is a celebration for many of those of faith. Christians around the world will celebrate the most Holy Day of solemn and celebratory seasons of Christian faith — Easter. The holiday, this Sunday, ends a four-week period of lament and self-denial and causes Christians to pause and pray over the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross and contemplate with awe His miraculous resurrection.
Children will also celebrate Easter by dyeing eggs in colorful patterns, hunting for plastic eggs containing special treasures, and going to sleep with visions of the Easter bunny hopping through their heads.
On Easter morning many children will wake up excitedly to find the Easter baskets left behind by the roaming rabbit, and enough chocolate, jelly beans and Peeps to keep them awake for two days.
Those of the Jewish faith will celebrate Passover during the same time as Easter. It begins on the evening of Friday, March 30, and will end Saturday, April 7.
Passover commemorates the deliverance of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. During this time, unleavened bread is eaten to commemorate the same that was eaten by the Israelites when they left Egypt. The highlight of Passover is the Seder dinner, which includes a recitation of the liturgy that describes the Exodus from Egypt.
The two faith-filled celebrations are tied together, as some of the earliest mentions of Easter come from the Greek or Latin word Pasch, for Passover.
Springtime celebrations can also be traced back to early gods and goddesses. According to the History Channel and other sources, some say the word Easter is derived from the word Eostre, the Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility.
The History Channel and other sources also report the choice of the bunny to be the Easter hero — as a prolific procreator, rabbits are a symbol of fertility — as are eggs, for obvious reasons.
As spring descends, the earth is a fertile cradle from which the sleeping bounty of plants, vegetables and fruits abounds. Many animals choose the spring to give birth for this reason.
Whatever faith you profess, these weeks are a time to celebrate some of our most holy holidays, and to realize the long winter is finally over and spring will be blooming soon.
These are trying times around the the world as acts of terror, violence and political rancor are at an all-time high. Let’s unite — for the next few weeks at least — to honor peace, love, sacrifice, and a time of growth and renewal, which all of us need.
Let’s figure out a way to reinforce our faith — if only in humanity.