Easter Sunday Origin

Easter Sunday Origin

Easter Monday is a Christian holiday celebrated the day after Easter Sunday.Formerly, it was celebrated as Easter Week in many places but this was reduced to a one-day celebration in the 19th century.

In many countries in Europe and South America, this day is known as "Little Easter". The Catholic Church calls it "Monday of the Angel

Easter (also called Pascha) is generally accounted the most important holiday of the Christian year, observed in March or April each year to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead after his death by crucifixion (see Good Friday), which Christians believe happened at about this time of year, almost two thousand years ago. (Easter can also refer to the season of the church year, lasting for nearly two months, which follows this holiday and ends around Pentecost

Why is it called Easter?

The name Easter is derived from 'Ostara' or 'Eostre', a pagan goddess of fertility, whose feast was celebrated on the Vernal Equinox. The word East is also derived from her names, as is Oestrogen, the female hormone. In Saxon culture, the Hare was sacred to Ostara and the modern tradition of the Easter Bunny is a distant echo of that.

However, In most languages other than English and German, the holiday's name is derived from Pesach, the Hebrew name of Passover, a Jewish holiday to which the Christian Easter is intimately linked, as the Gospel of John states that the last supper took place during a specific part of the Passover traditions.

Easter, therefore, depends on Passover not only for much of its symbolic meaning but also for its position in the calendar.

Deciding On a Date

The dates when Easter is celebrated varies from year to year. Why is this different from another Christian holiday, such as Christmas day, which is always on Dec 25th?

The problem is that the Gospels are pretty vague on the date of Easter. Matthew, Mark and Luke indicate one date, whereas John indicates a different date. Another factor is that Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus. To early Christians, his return for a second time was imminent, therefore they didn't worry too much about dates.

As the centuries passed, this lack of clarity around the date meant there was no standard date for Easter. For example by the late Third Century, if you travelled around Europe, you could celebrate Easter several times in the space of a few weeks. In Alexandria, Easter was always April 25th; in Rome, it was April 18th and in parts of Gaul, it was celebrated on March 21st. In fact, in parts of Celtic Britain, the crucifixion was commemorated on a Thursday instead of a Friday.


It was only after several attempts to set a standard date for Easter, that the formula of the Alexandrian Church was accepted as the correct way to determine the date. With this method and a passing nod to the method of calculating Passover, Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon whose 14th day is on or after the Vernal Equinox. (see for the accountants in the audience below for the exact formula)

The earliest date that Easter can be is March 22nd and the latest is April 25th.