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Easter Around the World
Easter is almost here, and it’s the most significant and meaningful event of the Christian calendar. During the week leading up to Easter Sunday, we ponder the miracle of Jesus’s life, ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection.
Christians will be observing Easter all over the world. In the U.S., we will attend our house of worship, have festivities and egg hunts for the kids, and hopefully enjoy a good meal with loved ones.
Across the pond, we may find traditions that are unfamiliar to many Americans. In Great Britain, our English friends may make a Simnel Cake or enjoy a competitive game of Egg Jarping.
In Italy, people gather in Saint Peter’s Basilica to listen to the Pope’s mass on Good Friday. Immediately following the service, the Pope starts his walk to remember the Christ’s
with a candlelit procession that ultimately ends at the Colosseum. Easter Sunday is usually spent with family, while Easter Monday or
is spent with friends.
Greek worshippers gather in church holding white candles on Easter eve, and the Resurrection of Christ is celebrated at the stroke of midnight with drumbeats, pealing bells, and fireworks. “Christós Anésti” (Christ has risen) is proclaimed along with the response, “Alithós Anésti” (He has truly risen). Everyone looks forward to the Easter table where family and friends dine on lamb, magiritsa soup, and other treats as they rejoice through the day and into the night.
In Australia, along with its religious significance, Easter is celebrated as a four-day holiday weekend starting on Good Friday and ending on Easter Monday. Australians use this time as an opportunity to take a mini-vacation or get together with family and friends. It’s a very popular time for gatherings such as weddings and christenings.
Easter is also an important holiday for the estimated 70 million Christians who live in Africa. Churches are decorated with hand-made fabrics shaped into symbols like butterflies, flowers, and banana trees. Christian hymns are sung to the beating of the native African drums. Families may enjoy special meals that include meat or chicken, which are considered expensive luxuries. Children receive special gifts, and everyone is adorned in their very best clothes.
There are, no doubt, many other special and unique observations around the world that mark the arrival of Easter, but we all share the desire for a connection with Him and each other. Even as we make plans to be with loved ones, we should take time from our busy lives to remember what’s most important: our relationship with Jesus.
As we experience this somber yet ultimately joyful occasion, now is a good time to assess the state of our hearts and minds. Are we tuned in to receiving our Father’s greatest gift of love and reconciliation, or are we distracted by all of the items on our daily to-do list? Are we ready to receive the message of hope and good news, or are we mired down by worries, disappointments, and irritations?
At Ronald Blue Trust, we pray that this Easter season is a blessing for you and your family, and may you experience a sense of peace as you reflect on the significance of this holiday.
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