This year, Easter Sunday will be observed on Sunday, April 9. This is based on the Gregorian calendar. However, note that many Eastern Orthodox churches follow the Julian calendar rather than the Gregorian. In 2023, Eastern Orthodox Easter will take place on Sunday, April 16 (Julian calendar date converted to the Gregorian calendar).
Easter is one of the central holidays, or Holy Days, of Christianity. It honors the Resurrection of Jesus three days after His death by crucifixion. For many Christian churches, Easter is the joyful conclusion to the Lenten season of devoted prayer, fasting and penitence.
Along with the Nativity of Christ, Easter is one of the most important celebrations in the Christian calendar. It is when Christians glorify and give thanks for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. After His crucifixion, death, and burial, Christ rose from the grave three days later. By this, He conquered death and redeemed us from sin.
As we’ll explore in this article, the Easter holy day did coincide with some pagan holidays. Because the church didn’t celebrate Easter until a certain point, owing to the persecution the church experienced for the first few centuries, the Christian creation of the holiday did happen around the same time as another pagan celebration was in full swing. Nevertheless, we strive to celebrate God’s victory over the grave on this holiday. In this article, we’ll explore the meaning of the word Easter, pagan associations of the holiday, and what the holiday means for Christians today.