Traditionally, Easter has been observed as the day when Jesus Christ rose from the dead. For Christians, it is the most religious of all holidays, though Christmas is often the most festive.
Easter tends to occur during spring, as it is also associated with the harvest season. It symbolizes the sprouting of new life after the wintry season.
Nonetheless, in times of conflicting beliefs characterized by societal disharmony, it is not entirely unusual to ponder about the meaning of this Christian observance with some disarray and confusion. For instance, according to a survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, 44 percent of American Protestants have left their faith, not to mention the mass exodus away from the belief of the Catholic Church… (Finding A Deeper Meaning In Easter).
Ironically, Easter was originally a pagan observance of rebirth and renewal, in honor of the Saxon goddess Eastre (The Meaning of Easter). In time, when the Saxons were converted as Christians by missionaries, the traditional observance of Christ’s resurrection was combined with the pagan celebration. There is still some controversy surrounding this – some fundamentalists still claim that Easter should not be celebrated because it is a pagan festival, empahsizing that every Sunday is a remebrance of the resurrection of Jesus. And that is why Christians receive the Eucharist on Sundays in memory of this.
Despite numerous ‘social evils’ that challenge the Christian community and the global community in general, i.e. terrorism, environmental issues, women’s rights, human rights, poverty, disease as well all kinds of exclusion and discrimination, Easter marks victory over all of these death dimensions. It is what gives Christians hope, that all is not in vain, and that things will get better – just as Christ defeated death on the cross, a symbol of all human suffering.