Easter - The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
On Easter Sunday Christians around the world celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Jewish, religious teacher was the son of God. He was executed by the Romans about 2000 years ago. Three days after he had died he returned to life again and rose to heaven.
Many Christians think that they will also rise to heaven after death. That’s why Easter is celebrated with joyful music and symbols of new life, like flowers and new clothes.
The name Easter may come from “Eostre”, an Anglo-Saxon goddess. Every year a spring festival was celebrated in her honour. In most Christian churches Easter is celebrated sometime between March 22 and April 25. It falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon in spring.
Easter marks the end of a time of prayer and fasting that we call Lent. It is believed that during this time Jesus Christ went through the desert for forty days without food.
The last week before Easter is called Holy Week. It begins on Palm Sunday, the day on which Jesus entered Jerusalem. His followers threw palm leaves on the streets. On Holy Thursday, Jesus had his Last Supper with his disciples or followers. The next day, Good Friday, Jesus was nailed to the cross. At 3 o’clock in the afternoon church services around the world recall the last hours of his suffering.
On Easter morning resurrection is celebrated. On the evening before, many people take part in processions with candles in the hands. On Easter Day the fasting period is over and people get together with their families and friends and have big meals.
People Watching an Easter Fire in the Netherlands
The lamb is one of the most important symbols of Easter. It comes from the old Hebrew Passover, when God ordered the Israelites to smear lamb blood on the doors of their houses to protect their firstborn sons. Christians also use the lamb as a symbol and called Jesus the Lamb of God.
Another well-known symbol of Easter is the egg. It stands for life because all life begins in eggs. Ancient Persians and Egyptians saw eggs as a sign of spring and coloured and ate them.
In North America and in some European countries children enjoy searching for Easter eggs that are hidde n by the Easter bunny. On Easter Monday egg rolling has become a traditional event on the lawn of the White House in Washington D.C.
Downloadable PDF Text- and Worksheets
- ancient = old
- Anglo-Saxon = people who lived in England starting at about 600 A.D.
- bunny = children’s word for rabbit
- candle = a stick of wax that burns and gives light
- celebrate = to do something
- special on an important day
- church service = mass or other events in church
- cross = the object that Jesus died on
- disciple = one of the twelve men that were Christ’s followers
- enjoy = like
- event = a very interesting thing that happens
- execute = to kill
- fasting = when you eat little or no food
- festival = special days when people have fun and celebrate
- follower = someone who believes in a leader
- goddess = a female god
- Hebrew = the Jews who lived in ancient times
- honour = to show how much the people liked her
- it is believed = people think that
- lawn = grass, garden
- Lent = the forty days before Easter
- mark =to be sign of
- procession = a line of people who walk slowly
- protect =defend, guard
- rise—rose = to go up
- recall = remember
- resurrection = the return to life of Jesus after he was nailed to the cross
- search for = look for
- smear =to spread a liquid over a surface especially in a careless way
- stand for = a symbol of
- suffering =to have pain
- supper = meal that you have early in the evening
- well-known = known by a lot of people