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Easter and Good Friday in USAEaster and Good Friday in USA
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Easter and Good Friday in USA

Easter or Pasch (in Latin) or Resurrection Sunday, is a festival celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day of his burial after his crucifixion by Romans at Calvary . It is the culmination of the Passion of Christ, preceded by Lent (or Great Lent), a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance. In western Christianity, Eastertide or the Easter Season, begins on Easter Sunday and lasts seven weeks, ending with the coming of the fiftieth day, Pentecost Sunday. In Orthodoxy, the season of Pascha begins on Pascha and ends with the coming of the fortieth day, the Feast of the Ascension.

Easter Customs and Traditions Followed in USA

Festivity knows no boundaries and this is especially true in case of Easter which is celebrated across the globe with much pomp and vigour. Easter is a festival, where people forget bickering, bury their differences and come together in hordes to rejoice. Every nation has its unique way of celebrating the festival. For example, it is the tradition of America to conduct special Easter parades, where men and women flaunt their special costumes and colourful bonnets. The Easter bunny forms a major part of the Easter traditions in America.

  • In New Orleans, it is a trend of conducting an annual Easter carnival called ‘ Mardi Gras’, which features a lot of fun activities like parade, jazz music and bumper party.
  • The Easter Bunny is a popular legendary anthropomorphic Easter gift-giving character analogous to Santa Claus in American culture. Many Americans follow the tradition of colouring hard-boiled eggs and giving baskets of candy.
  • Special dish for the festival of Easter in USA is baked ham, potatoes, vegetables and hot cross buns.
  • Painting the Easter eggs and then conducting Easter egg hunt and egg roll games for the children is what most of the American parents do on the Easter week.
  • Like in every other part of the globe, Easter symbols like bunnies, Easter tree, Easter eggs and Easter lamb make their presence felt in every corner of the street, churches, shops and home.
  • Easter eggs are specially decorated eggs given out to celebrate the Easter festival. The custom of the Easter egg originated in the early Christian community of Mesopotamia, who stained eggs red in memory of the blood of Christ.
  • Children wake up on Easter Sunday to find baskets of Easter eggs or candy given by Easter bunny.
  • Like most of the countries pre-Lent carnivals form an integral part of Easter celebrations in the USA.
  • Easter parties are a common sight in USA during this festival where people meet, feast and make merry.
  • Easter bonnet, the Cross, Dogwood Tree, Easter eggs and spring chicks, Easter bunny, Easter lamb, Butterfly and Hot Cross Buns are the various Easter symbols observed here.
  • Easter wedding is a popular trend in USA. People here usually like to tie their nuptial knot on this propitious day.
Good Friday in the United States

Good Friday occurs two days before Easter Sunday. It is the day when Christians commemorate Jesus Christ's crucifixion, which plays an important part in the Christian faith.

Holy Friday Activities

Some Christians may attend special church services or prayer vigils. It is a day of mourning and quiet prayer for many Christians. The candles are often extinguished and statues, paintings and crosses may be draped in black, purple or grey cloth. Some Catholics treat Good Friday as a day of fasting, while others observe a partial fast involving the exclusion of meat. Some people bake hot cross buns, a traditional Good Friday sweet. Some homes keep a quiet atmosphere, with little or no outside activities and limited television, radio, and computer use, in observing Good Friday.

Public Life

Good Friday is not an official holiday in the United States but in some states like Hawai, it is a state holiday. However, financial markets, as well as many businesses, public schools and universities/colleges are closed on Good Friday. In some areas, such as Perry County in Tennessee, Good Friday is a school holiday. Good Friday is a holiday designated by the governor as a day of fasting and prayer in Connecticut.

Significance

Good Friday is the day when Christians commemorate the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. The Easter date depends on the ecclesiastical approximation of the March equinox. This is an important event in Christianity. The week before Easter is called the Holy Week. The crucifixion was the culmination of a number of events in Holy Week, including: the triumphal return of Jesus to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday; the washing of the disciples' feet by Jesus; and the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday.

Symbols

The crucifix, or cross, which represents the way Jesus died, is an important symbol seen on Good Friday. Some crosses bear a figure of Christ. Other symbols of Good Friday include black cloth used to cover the cross, paintings and statues in churches and some homes to signify mourning.

Thus on a concluding note, Easter and Good Friday in USA, being major celebrations in the Christian calendar, are celebrated with fanfare. Easter symbolizes the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, whereas Good Friday represents the sacrifices and suffering in Jesus’ life. During this time, some churches organize a prayer vigil for various causes, such as for cancer patients or for the American troops, sent to war.

SYMBOLS OF EASTERS
Easter Bunny Easter Bunny

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Easter LilyEaster Lily

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Easter ParadesEaster Parades

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Decorated Easter EggsDecorated Eggs

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