How Do Christians Celebrate Easter?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 12, 2020 2:32:18 PM ET
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Though the central message is the same across different Christian cultural traditions, specific Easter ceremonies and celebrations may vary across cultures, from the candy and egg hunts held throughout the United States to the countryside vacations favored by many Swedish people.

In many ways, Easter is the most theologically significant Christian holiday as it celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his execution by crucifixion. This resurrection represents Jesus' holy qualities and is believed to prove that he is the son of God.

Because of its theological significance, Easter celebrations are often religious in nature, typically including church attendance even by those who don't regularly go to church on a weekly basis. Along with Christmas, the celebration of Christ's birth, Easter is one of the most important Christian holidays, and many casual Christians observe it.

Though Easter always falls on a Sunday, some countries mark the occasion by declaring the following Monday an official government holiday during which banks and most businesses are closed, giving employees the opportunity to celebrate with families.

Eggs are a symbol of the holiday throughout Christian traditions across the globe. The egg is said to symbolize the empty tomb left behind by Christ after his resurrection, though this tradition also has pagan roots as a celebration of spring.

People in many areas of the world celebrate Easter by hard boiling and dying eggs. The custom of dying eggs has its roots in Ancient Egyptian and Persian cultures, when people would dye eggs and gift them to friends and family members during festivals. The tradition has since spread to Christians, who dye eggs and give them to loved ones to celebrate the resurrection of Christ.

Another traditionally Christian Easter celebration is the baking, gifting and eating of hot cross buns. Hot cross buns, traditionally eaten on Good Friday, are affiliated with Easter due to the cross symbol on the top of each. However, the tradition of eating hot cross buns pre-dates Christianity.