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A brief history tells us there are a lot of controversies over where the name ''Easter'' actually originates from. The majority of articles mention that the name ''Easter '' has a pagan origin and originates from the name of a pagan Anglo-Saxon goddess of Spring whose name was Eostre. Some scholars on the other hand say the name ''Easter'' stems from the German word 'auferstehung' which means resurrection. Other articles claim the name ''Easter'' derives from ancient Egypt and Egypt's goddess of fertility.
Did you know?
Easter Sunday does not have a fixed date, and this year Easter falls on April the 17th which is 3 weeks later than last year when Easter Sunday fell on the 27th March 2016. While the dates for Easter vary, they always fall between March the 21st and April the 25th.
Easter Sunday is a time when Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. According to the scripture, Jesus Christ was raised from the dead 3 days after his death on the cross. As part of the Easter celebrations, the death of Jesus Christ is marked on Good Friday.
The date of the Lord's resurrection also marks the end of lent, a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. Lent starts on Ash Wednesday and continues for a 40-day period (not counting Sundays.)
There is no doubt that Easter has become very commercialised and these days and everyone, regardless of their faith, take advantage of the Easter season to enjoy Easter eggs, hot cross buns and of course, time with their family.
It is traditional to eat hot cross buns on Good Friday and they have long been an Easter tradition. Indeed, the origin of hot cross buns can be traced back to the 12th century when a monk was the first person to bake the buns with a knife imprint of a cross on. The pastry cross on top of the buns symbolises the cross that Jesus Christ was killed on.
There are many myths about hot cross buns, for instance, if you hang a hot cross bun in the kitchen, it will ward off evil spirits! And did you know, the common cold can be cured when an old hot cross bun is grated and mixed with water!
Easter is celebrated differently throughout the world and in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, it is a day of remembrance for the men and women who died in the Easter rising which began on Easter Monday 1916 and lasted for 6 days. At the end of 6 days 485 people lost their lives and much of the centre of Dublin was left in ruins.
See for yourself how people around the world celebrate Easter... 12 of the most interesting Easter traditions from around the world.