When Is Easter & What Is The Meaning Of Good Friday

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There are many different traditions people use to celebrate Easter and Good Friday.

Everyone knows Easter is coming when stuffed animals, marshmallow chicks, bunnies and colored egg kits start to appear in the stores.

Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the Full Moon, the week after the Spring (Vernal) Equinox. According to the monk Bede, or Saint Bede, Easter is derived from Ēastre, the goddess associated with Spring.

When is Easter and what is the difference between Good Friday and Easter?

This year, Easter falls on Sunday, April 4, 2021. Good Friday is the Friday before Easter, occurring on April 2, 2021.

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According to the Oxford English dictionary, Easter is the action or act of receiving the Holy Eucharist during the season of Easter, which is the oldest festival of the Christian Church, celebrating the resurrection of Christ and held (in the Western Church) between March 21 and April 25.

Easter is a Christian holiday, commemorated and celebrated in their own way. It depends on their religious background as well as the family traditions that they practice.

But why do Christians celebrate Easter? Easter is a day in which Christians honor Christ, his crucifixion, and his resurrection. Those observing the holiday attend church services that speak of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

What is the meaning of Good Friday?

Good Friday is a well-known holiday that represents Jesus’s crucifixion on the cross. The German word for Good Friday is Karfreitag or "sorrowful Friday."

Why is Good Friday celebrated? Friday was the day that Jesus Christ was arrested for proclaiming he was the son of God, as discussed in the Bible; it's a holiday commemorating the anniversary of the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ.

According to the Bible, Good Friday is said to be “of first importance” that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and was raised to life on the third day, "all in accordance with what God had promised all along in the Scriptures" (1 Corinthians 15:3).

After Good Friday, Jesus rose from the dead three days later on Easter Sunday. 

During Lent, where people "fast" for 40 days before Easter, everyone age 14 and up must abstain from consuming meat on Fridays, and everyone aged 18 to 59 must fast for the whole day, unless they have a medical reason for which they are exempt.

While not eating meat during Lent, Good Friday is meant as a day of reflection to honor Jesus's sacrifice for our sins.

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How does Lent connect with Easter and Good Friday?

Oftentimes, people show their respect by fasting, refraining from eating food to show their sorrow. Some churches also strip their altars bare and muffle their bells as a sign of mourning.

Easter is the holiday that everyone tends to go all out on, regardless of having religious beliefs or not. Easter, for Christians, is a time to remember Jesus Christ and his sacrifice that was made for us.

It's something that helps people recognize his sacrifice and love for us as his brothers and sisters and God’s children.

How did the practice of Easter baskets begin?

Easter baskets are said to have begun in Germany, where children would create nests made of leaves and branches where the "Easter Hare" would leave treats. Other interpreations say the tradition began in the Middle East among farmers, where seedlings were blessed to have a prosperous harvest.

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In the United States, Easter tends to be an excuse to bring up stories of the Easter Bunny, telling kids how he hops around their houses and backyards leaving eggs filled with candy and other treats.

It’s different for each family what they decide to do to celebrate. It’s usually an Easter egg hunt to see who can gather the most goodies to celebrate on the day.

For my family, as kids we used to wake up to an Easter egg hunt throughout the house. After we gathered the eggs allotted to each child, we were given the Easter baskets that were prepared for us.

They had more candy and presents in them to celebrate the fun holiday. My parents made it a tradition to give us one of our favorite DVDs that came out that year. We would spend the day watching the movies after we went to church.

We attended church during the Easter holiday to learn about and focus on recounting the true story about Jesus Christ and his sacrifice for us and the three days he spent in the tomb before he was resurrected. We then came home and would all read the story again, making sure we knew the details and sacrifice that was given by our Savior, Jesus Christ.

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Hayley Small is a writer who focuses on pop culture, religion, and relationship topics.