Saturday, March 31, 2012

This Week's Feast Day: Easter

Easter Greetings by Kustodiev
The exact origins of this religious feast day's name are unknown. Some sources claim the word Easter is derived from Eostre, a Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility. Other accounts trace Easter to the Latin term "hebdomada alba", or white week, an ancient reference to Easter week and the white clothing worn by people who were baptized during that time. Through a translation error, the term later appeared as "esostarum" in Old High German, which eventually became Easter in English. In Spanish, Easter is known as Pascua; in French, Paques. These words are derived from the Greek and Latin Pascha or Pasch, for Passover. Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection occurred after he went to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover (or Pesach in Hebrew), the Jewish festival commemorating the ancient Israelites' exodus from slavery in Egypt. Pascha eventually came to mean Easter.

If you'd like to learn more about the history of this holiday, click here. To find out how Easter is celebrated around the world, click here.

Source: Larry Ferlazzo

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