Easter. To much of the world it's chocolate bunnies and jelly-bean filled baskets. But to the roughly 2.2 Billion Christians this is the day that makes them Christian. (The belief in a crucified dead and buried Christ who descended into hell and and on the third day -Easter- rose again to subsequently ascend into heaven to sitteth on the right hand of God the Father- were you sleeping in Sunday School?)
So this year I was with family and friends on the 8th of April and I had my fill of chocolate bunnies and fellowship. I also made the trek to Georgia on Easter Sunday evening where I will get a second helping of Easter! This year Eastern Easter is on the 15th. I know, people always say, really? Why is theirs late?
Well, that's history. Seriously.
The gentlemen at the Council of Nicaea (c.325) agreed that Easter would be on the first Sunday after the full moon that came after the vernal equinox. On the Gregorian calendar the equinox falls on 21 March. Well, the Eastern Christian Churches use the Julian calendar, so their 21 March is our 3 April. Last year both east and west celebrated Easter on the same Sunday, but often they are off a bit (22 March to 25 April in the west and 4 April to 8 May in the east). Why a week? I have no idea. But it means I will be bloated with hard boiled eggs!
I really enjoy the traditions and opportunity for reflection Easter provides. In Georgia (an Orthodox Christian nation) they have a whole set of comparable Christian traditions- the palms on Sunday, the eggs, feasts with family and friends, the works. The same but different, and I have not seen a single chocolate bunny (except for the ones I brought).
Oh, and music festivals. More on those later.