On a long journey of human life, faith is the best of companions.

Buddha

Easter thoughts

I have three topics getting into my mind about Easter:

  • resurrection (Jesus)
  • redemption (sins)
  • rebirth (nature)

We know that Easter is the one of the most important celebration of Christians nowadays, the fulfilment of Jesus Christ and the Heavenly Father’s „work”: Jesus has been resurrected on the third day, after the crucifixtion on Friday. He did not free the world from suffering, but redeemed all human sin by His death on the cross, and by His resurrection He has got victory over Death.
From this aspect doing it first and the one and only in the World.

Beyond religion this is also the celebration of waiting for spring, the coming of springtime held on March or April (according to Moon phases). Easter is equivalent to the earlier jewish religious celebration (in Hebrew ’Pesach’: the word means ’avoidance’, referring to the Angel of Death who avoided the jewish houses marked by blood of sheep, Guardian Angels hovering over them), a celebration of the deliverance from inprisonment in Egypt, although the two celebration are on different day (moving holiday). The easter procession is called ’avoidance’ in many places, perhaps about the biblical events.

But I could mention from earlier times the fertility celebrations held on spring equinox which elements are resurrection and rebirth. As usual in every celebration, you can easily find that the meaning of all celebration is always the same thousands of years ago, mostly influenced by the dominant religious feats, but this is true for example shrines, temples where the different cults, beliefs, religious regimes „changing each other”, rebuilding, re-thinking that place.

The Easter represents the end of a previous period, the forty days of Lent, commemorating Jesus’ Lent in the desert. After the Lent named by the Catholic Christianity, the „Shrove” eating period, this day is the first to eat meat (referring for this the Hungarian ’húsvét’ word: the frist day to get meal into us). So the name of one of the most sacred celebration is quite mundane and referring a sensual pleasure: the eating.

Taking away the meat is also a meaning for me, because (figuratively) Jesus has been stripped from His mundane, human, flesh being and resurrected into an entirely different entitiy. The last week of Lent is called „Holy Week”, the week after Easter (named „white week” in several Hungarian regions) lasts until white Sunday. Jesus has been stripped from his clothers but after His resurrection He appeared in white shroud, cleaned from sins and suffer, saving the sins of mankind.

In springtime the whole nature and the Man are reborn. Although every season is important and beautiful, it is an everyday yearly miracle for me that the trees, the plants became green and burst into flowers again, to make the Life triumph all over again with this neverending recirculation.

The fertility, its symbols: the rabbit or the egg like Easter meal are also reflected. The Easter is keeping traces of a lot of pagan spring celebration, it is a remnant of fertility cults.

The Easter’s name in English ’Easter’ or in German ’Ostern’ are from a Teutonic godess. Her name can be traced bank to *au es- 'shine' stem, Greek and Latin goddess of dawn Éosz and Aurora too. The connection between Easter celebration name and meat is almost only in the Hungarian language.

Sprinkling is also connected to Easter celebrations which is despite of today’s commercial being an ancient fertility rite. The roots of this custom is originated from ancient times, based on the water’s purifying and renewing power and remained in modern form today although the firejump, making bonfire are popular in German and nordic language areas. This is also a good example that the Easter celebration has got much more ancient roots, its traditions are related by ancient elements.