Easter is one of the most important festivals in Christianity. It was introduced in India under the European rule. Today, Christians all over the country celebrate this festival. Since Easter falls on a Sunday and the Friday preceding it is Good Friday and a holiday, a large number of non Christians go away at weekend getaways. Easter eggs and bunnies are intimate parts of the celebration. People celebrate the resurrection of Christ.

The legend behind Easter

According to the bible, Jesus was crucified on Good Friday. After his death on the cross, his body was removed by his followers and buried in secret according to the Jewish traditions. On Sunday, Jesus was resurrected. This Sunday is known as Easter Sunday. It is taken to be a symbol which established Jesus as the true son of God. Christians believe that their faith is also resurrected with Jesus and they are now free of sin and ready to walk the path of faith. Easter Sunday is also closely linked to the Jewish festival of Passover.

When is Easter celebrated?

Easter is a moving feast. This means that the date of Easter varies from year to year. It is celebrated on the Sunday following the Good Friday. According to one calculation, it falls on the first Sunday after the Full Moon after the March equinox. In general, the date varies between 22nd March and 25th April.

How is Easter celebrated?

Easter is celebrated with enthusiasm by the Christian community in India. The following rituals are observed:

  • Preparations begin from Shrove Tuesday, i.e. the Tuesday before the Easter Sunday. Sweets like Simnel cakes and pancakes are prepared in order to give to the visitors.
  • On Easter Sunday, people wear new clothes as a symbol of the end of the old and the beginning of the new. In some areas, it is the custom of those who have been baptized to wear white only. This signifies that they are now free of sin and filled with the grace of God.
  • Mass is conducted in the churches celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Prayers are said in his honor.
  • In Goa and Christian dominated areas of Mumbai, processions are taken out on Easter. Beach carnival is held in Goa which attracts a large crowd. Songs, dance and open air plays are performed. The Easter celebrations continue for a full week in Goa.
  • Colorful Easter eggs are given as gifts during this festival. The legend has it that when Jesus was having difficulty in carrying his cross, an egg seller left his eggs and helped him. When the seller returned, he saw that his eggs have turned colorful with beautiful designs on them. So, intricately designed Easter eggs are decorated and given as gifts.
  • Easter baskets filled with Easter eggs, chocolates, marshmallows and Easter bunnies are given as presents. These baskets are often brought to the church to be blessed by the Father.

Easter festival dates between 2014 & 2024

YearDate
2014Sunday, 20th of April
2015Sunday, 5th of April
2016Sunday, 27th of March
2017Sunday, 16th of April
2018Sunday, 1st of April
2019Sunday, 21st of April
2020Sunday, 12th of April
2021Sunday, 4th of April
2022Sunday, 17th of April
2023Sunday, 9th of April
2024Sunday, 31st of March
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