Easter - Different Time, Different Place

Posted by Amanda Searle on 18 March 2015 | 0 Comments

For many of us in Australia we look forward to Easter for the four-day holiday and the chocolatey goodness of Easter eggs.

For others the Easter period is a deeply religious celebration of the life of Jesus, the mourning of his death and the joy of his resurrection.
And for others the celebration will be a variation of these or somewhere in between.
Our beliefs and how we choose to celebrate Easter will take a different form and will even be celebrated on different dates in 2015, depending on whether it is based on Western or Eastern Christianity.

For others the Easter period is a deeply religious celebration of the life of Jesus, the mourning of his death and the joy of his resurrection.

And for others the celebration will be a variation of these or somewhere in between.

Our beliefs and how we choose to celebrate Easter will take a different form and will even be celebrated on different dates in 2015, depending on whether it is based on Western or Eastern Christianity.

A diversity of dates

Western Christianity (encompassing Latin, Catholic and Protestant Churches) will celebrate Easter Sunday this year on the 5th April. Eastern Christianity (encompassing Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church, Assyrian Church of the East and Eastern Catholic Churches) will celebrate Easter Sunday or Pascha on the 12th April.

The difference is because Western Christianity uses the Gregorian calendar to determine the date of the first full moon after the March equinox. Eastern Christianity uses the Julian calendar. The 13-day difference between these two calendars results in the date discrepancy. 

Orthodox Pascha

Eastern Orthodox Christians commence spiritual celebrations seven weeks prior to Pascha with fasting for lent. Fasting continues in ‘Holy Week’ - the week before Pascha, which generally concludes with a late-night Paschal vigil on the eve of Pascha, after which Easter festivities commence. These celebrations of the resurrection of Christ are the most important services of the ecclesiastical calendar.

Lent fasting concludes after the late-night resurrection service, whereby Orthodox Christians generally feast on lamb and sweet Easter bread. Eggs dyed red are used as symbols of both new life and to represent the blood of Jesus.

A celebration of similarity and difference

In many ways the fact that Easter has been celebrated in such a diverse fashion for 2000 years is an example of how we can harmoniously observe deeply-held beliefs in different ways. Australia is one of the best examples of a culturally diverse society where we celebrate and promote the co-existence of different beliefs, religions and ways of life.

Origins accurately pinpoints names from Eastern Europe, Greece, the Middle East and Russia. These cultures are most likely to identify with Eastern Orthodox Christianity. To further promote multicultural awareness and to assist organisations with targeted marketing OriginsInfo publishes a calendar of significant cultural dates in Australia.

However and when you celebrate Easter this year we hope it is fulfilling and involves some chocolate.

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