Sunday, 17 April 2011

WHAT SHOULD YOU KNOW ABOUT EASTER?



As learners of English, you should first know the Easter English vocabulary and of course, the most interesting traditions all over the world.

  • Ash Wednesday (March 9, 2011)
  • Palm Sunday (Sunday, April 17, 2011)
  • Holy Thursday (April 21, 2011)
  • Good Friday (Friday, April 22, 2011)
  • Holy Saturday (Saturday, April 23, 2011)
  • Easter Sunday (Sunday, April 24, 2011)
  • Divine Mercy Sunday (Sunday, May 1, 2011
The week from Palm Sunday to Easter is known as Holy Week. Easter also marks the end of Lent, a season of fasting, prayer, and penance.

Easter is a moveable feast, meaning it is not fixed in relation to the civil calendar. It occurs during the spring, in and around the month of April.
But where did our Easter customs originate? Just what do colored eggs, rabbits, roasted ham, and hot cross buns have to do with the resurrection of our Savior? Why is this spring festival called Easter?
            It is known from history that the apostles and early followers of the Messiah did not observe a holiday called Easter. The word Easter is nowhere found in any ancient Greek or Aramaic manuscripts of the New Testament.
Encyclopedias and dictionaries reveal that the word Easter is of Anglo-Saxon origin. It can be traced to Eostre, the goddess of spring. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia verifies the English word as coming from Estera, a Teutonic goddess.
Other names for Easter:
Based on "Pesach:"In most of the remaining languages in countries with a Christian heritage, the name for Easter is derived from "Pesach" ("פסחא" in Hebrew) the name for Passover:  These include:

Arabic: عيد الفصح (Aīd ul-Figh)
French: Pâues
Greek: Πάσχα (Pascha)
Hebrew: פסחא (Pascha)
Irish: Cáisc
Italian: Pasqua
Persian: Pas`h
Polish: Pascha
Portuguese: Páscoa
 Russian: Пасха (Paskha
 Scottish Gaelic: Casca
Spanish: Pascua
Swedish: Påsk

Based on "Great Day" or "Great Night:" This is used in most Slavic languages:

Bulgarian: Великден (Vělikděn')

Czech: Velikonoce

Latvian Lieldienas (Plural; no singular exists)

Lithuanian Velykos (Plural; no singular exists)

Polish: Wielkanoc
Turkish Paskalya
Welsh: Pasg

Based on "Resurrection"

Bosnian: Uskrs or Vaskrs (literally "resurrection")

Chinese: Fùhuó Jié (literally "Resurrection Festival")

Croatian: "Uskrs," meaning 'Resurrection'."

Korean: Buhwalchol, literally "Resurrection Festival"

Not only names differ, traditions also vary and seem to be changing.
CHINA   The Chinese believed in the sacredness of eggs and gave them as gifts during joyful celebrations. Eggs have been a symbol of spring and fertility. At least 3000 years ago the Chinese painted eggs red for spring festivals.
Historic documentation tells us that in 722 B.C. a Chinese Chieftain gave painted eggs as gifts in celebration of a spring festival.
Bilby
AUSTRALIA   In many communities, the full Passion Play is enacted from the Last Supper, the Betrayal, the Judgement, the Procession of the 12 Stations of the Cross, the Crucifixion and, finally, the Resurrection. In some communities, real crucifixion is included. The enactments are often nicely staged, costumed and acted, with participants preparing for their roles for nearly the full year leading up to Semana Santa.
In recent years Easter bilbies have also been made. The bilby is a native animal in Australia. It is an endangered species. Chocolate manufacturers decided to make Easter bilbies and give some of their profits to help protect these animals from extinction. Children don't worry about the shape. They just love the chocolate!
Many families arrange for an Easter hunt in their homes or gardens to see who can find
the most eggs on Easter Sunday morning. They then share a meal with their relatives. Traditionally this has consisted of roast lamb, beef or chicken with roasted vegetables like potatoes, carrots, pumpkin
AFRICA   Easter has a social dimension as well as a spiritual one. At Easter families come together. They share special food with Christians and non-Christians indulging in boiled or roasted rice with meat or chicken.

Meat being very scarce and expensive in Africa, the laws of abstinence (not eating meat) does not hold good.
In most parish churches the Easter Vigil is anticipated, because there are no lights, usually beginning at 3pm and finishing at dark, around 6pm.

The church is decorated by Vitenge and Kanga, clothes made up in the form of butterflies, flowers, banana trees etc.

Christian hymns are accompanied by the beating of drums and Kigelegele, the high-pitched sounds made by women.

After the Mass, traditional dances are held outside of the church. Then people return home to continue their celebrations with local food and drinks.
The Easter Bunny or Easter Hare (sometimes Spring Bunny in the U.S. is a character depicted as a rabbit bringing Easter eggs, who sometimes is depicted with clothes. In legend, the creature brings baskets filled with colored eggs, candy and sometimes also toys to the homes of children on the night before Easter. The Easter Bunny will either put the baskets in a designated place or hide them somewhere in the house or garden for the children to find when they wake up in the morning.
The Easter Bunny is a counterpart to the Santa Claus of Christmas, as they both bring gifts to children on the night before their respective holiday. It was first mentioned in  Georg Franck von Frankenau's De ovis paschalibus (About the Easter Egg) referring to an Alsace tradition of an Easter Hare bringing Easter Eggs. Eggs, like rabbits and hares, are fertility symbols of antiquity. Since birds lay eggs and rabbits and hares give birth to large litters in the early spring, these became symbols of the rising fertility of the earth at the Vernal Equinox.

فِصْح سعيد                      Arabic                                                    
Καλό Πάσχα                Greek
Felices Pascuas              Spanish
C праздником Пасхи   Russian
Paşte fericit                    Romanian
Joyeuses Pâques            French
復活節快樂              Chinese (Mandarin)
Buona Pasqua               Italian 
                                   To all our Facebook Fans and Twitter followers:
video
 GLOSSARY
Cross bun

Kanga clothes
Kigelegele (high-pitched sound made by women)
 

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