Each holiday celebrated worldwide has its specific features1 that vary from region to region. However, none of those events is as controversial as Easter. Celebrated in various cultures, Easter has become an occasion which may be quite confusing:

What are we really celebrating?

For some people, Easter is a great religious holiday. For some Christians, Easter is the most important holiday of all! Anyway, Christianity is not the only religion that observes a holiday in the spring. The Jewish religion celebrates the holiday of Passover during the same period.

ACTIVITY– Do you know the meaning of the following words related to the holiday of Easter? Can you explain them in English? CRUCIFIXION, RESURRECTION, TOMB, FASTING, LENT

However, the Christian faith is not the only reason we celebrate Easter. Some experts argue that special rituals and traditions had been kept even before Christianity was brought to most corners of the planet. Easter has no fixed date; its date changes from year to year according to the phases of the moon. It is usually celebrated around the time of the spring equinox2. People in the past noticed that during this time, days got longer and winter was over. They invented various ways of saying goodbye to the coldness and darkness and welcoming the sun and the new births occurring in nature. In some cultures, including that of our region, people used to toss3 a stuffed dummy4 representing death into streams to send winter away. Also, our crazy traditions of dousing and flogging5 come from pagan times!

ACTIVITY– Check the meaning of the following words and phrases: WILLOW TWIG, EGG HUNT, SPRING EQUINOX, FLOGGING, DOUSING

Anyway, there are a lot of people all around the globe who do not care about the origin of Easter. They enjoy the opportunity of being together with family and friends, having good meals and a few days off!

 Make a word box on your own using all the words and phrases related to YOUR way of celebrating Easter!

– Easter eggs represent new life and also symbolize the shape of Jesus’s tomb6.
– The colours for Easter are white and gold. Easter lilies7 are popular decorations in American churches. They symbolize beauty, purity and holiness.
– Easter also signifies the end of Lent, the 40-day period of fasting, preparation, and penitence8 observed by the faithful.

Miroslava Dubanová

VOCABULARY: 1 črta – rys; 2 rovnodennosť – rovnodennost; 3 hodiť – hodit; 4 figurína; 5 oblievačka a šibačka – oblévačka a mrskačka; 6 hrob; 7 ľalia – lilie; 8 pokanie – pokání