How well do you know these Easter fun facts? Some are religious, some are silly. See how you do!
1. Why isn't Easter a fixed holiday, like Christmas?
Easter is a "movable feast." Jesus Christ's death and resurrection occurred around the time of the Jewish Passover, which is not a fixed holiday: Passover is celebrated on the first full moon following the vernal equinox. Therefore, since the second century, Christians have been celebrating Easter on the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox (March 21).
2. Where did Easter baskets come from?
The first Easter baskets looked like bird's nests, and they carried eggs, which were symbolic of life in many cultures. In Medieval Europe, Christians abstained eating eggs and meat during Lent. Eggs laid during Lent were boiled to preserve them and were given as Easter gifts. Eggs also are symbolic of the resurrection, with the shell representing the tomb and the egg corresponding to new life.
3. Why is Good Friday "Good?"
Good Friday commemorates Jesus' crucifixion for our sins on the Friday before Easter. While some believe Good Friday is "good" because the work of Jesus saves us from our sins, a good thing indeed, others believe the word "good" is an old form of the word "holy." Twelve US states observe it as a holiday: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Texas and Tennessee.
|Icon of the Resurrection. Public Domain.|
Roman Catholics, Anglicans and some Lutherans begin celebrating Easter with a "Vigil," a centuries-old service. Long ago, Christians kept watch and prayed through the night before Easter. Today, the service begins in the dark and a new fire is brought into the church, representing the light of Jesus shining in the dark, empty tomb and out into the world. Lessons follow, as well as Eucharist (communion) and sometimes baptisms.
5. How did Easter get its name?
While it's the Feast of the Resurrection, the holiday is better known by the pagan-inspired name of Easter. Eastre was an Anglo-Saxon goddess who symbolized spring. According to some scholars, however, "oster" means "to rise" in Anglo-Saxon, or was the name of the vernal equinox.
6. What part of the chocolate bunny do people eat first?
Over three-quarters of Americans go for the ears first. Less than 5% start with the tail.
|Pink Peeps. Public Domain|
Apparently, Americans buy more than 700 million marshmallow Peeps. They are more popular than jelly beans, but not as popular as chocolate.
8. When was the first Easter Egg Roll at the White House?
The tradition started in 1878 with President Rutherford B. Hayes. Since 1981, wooden eggs have been used so the eggs can be saved as keepsakes.
9. PAAS Easter Egg dye is named for...what?
PAAS has been around for over a hundred years, and the names comes from the Dutch word for Easter, Passen.
10. What bread product is linked to Easter?
You'd think it would be Hot Cross Buns, but Pretzels also have a history with Easter! Supposedly, a monk invented them around the year 600 and twisted the bread to look like arms crossed in prayer.
Susanne Dietze is the author of three novels and almost a dozen novellas. You can read the first few chapters of her newest book, A Mother For His Family, on her website, www.susannedietze.com