Easter

Easter  is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion.Easter marks the end of Lent, a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance. The last week of the Lent is called Holy Week, and it contains Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus.
             Easter starts from the first Sunday after the full moon (the Paschal Full Moon) following the northern hemisphere's vernal equinox The date of Easter therefore varies between March 22 and April 25.
            As with other Christian festivals, the celebration of Easter extends beyond the church.

Western Christianity

In Western Christianity, Easter marks the end of Lent, a period of fasting and penitence in preparation for Easter, which begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts forty days (not counting Sundays).
The week before Easter, known as Holy Week, is very special in the Christian tradition. The Sunday before Easter is Palm Sunday and the last three days before Easter are Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday (sometimes referred to as Silent Saturday). Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday respectively commemorate Jesus' entry in Jerusalem, the Last Supper and the Crucifixion. Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday are sometimes referred to as the Easter Triduum. In some countries, Easter lasts two days, with the second called "Easter Monday". The week beginning with Easter Sunday is called Easter Week or the Octave of Easter, and each day is prefaced with "Easter", e.g. Easter Monday, Easter Tuesday, etc. Easter Saturday is therefore the Saturday after Easter Sunday. The day before Easter is properly called Holy Saturday. Many churches begin celebrating Easter late in the evening of Holy Saturday at a service called the Easter Vigil.
Eastertide, or Paschaltide, the season of Easter, begins on Easter Sunday and lasts until the day of Pentecost, seven weeks later.

Eastern Christianity
In Eastern Christianity, the spiritual preparation for Pascha begins with Great Lent, which starts on Clean Monday and lasts for 40 continuous days (including Sundays). The last week of Great Lent (following the fifth Sunday of Great Lent) is called Palm Week, and ends with Lazarus Saturday. The Vespers which begins Lazarus Saturday officially brings Great Lent to a close, although the fast continues through the following week. After Lazarus Saturday comes Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and finally Pascha itself, and the fast is broken immediately after the Paschal Divine Liturgy.

The Paschal Vigil begins with the Midnight Office, which is the last service of the Lenten Triodion and is timed so that it ends a little before midnight on Holy Saturday night. At the stroke of midnight the Paschal celebration itself begins, consisting of Paschal Matins, Paschal Hours, and Paschal Divine Liturgy. Placing the Paschal Divine Liturgy at midnight guarantees that no Divine Liturgy will come earlier in the morning, ensuring its place as the pre-eminent "Feast of Feasts" in the liturgical year.

The liturgical season from Pascha to the Sunday of All Saints (the Sunday after Pentecost) is known as the Pentecostarion (the "fifty days"). The week which begins on Easter Sunday is called Bright Week, during which there is no fasting, even on Wednesday and Friday. The Afterfeast of Pascha lasts 39 days, with its Apodosis (leave-taking) on the day before Ascension. Pentecost Sunday is the fiftieth day from Pascha (counted inclusively)

Although the Pentecostarion ends on the Sunday of All Saints, Pascha's influence continues throughout the following year, determining the daily Epistle and Gospel readings at the Divine Liturgy, the Tone of the Week, and the Matins Gospels all the way through to the next year's Lazarus Saturday.

Easter Customs
  • Easter was considered the ideal time for converts to receive baptism.
  • Spanking : In some of the world, a tradition of spanking or whipping is carried out on Easter Monday.In the morning, men spank women with a special handmade whip and throw cold water on them. The whip consists of eight, twelve or even twenty-four withies (willow rods), is usually from half a meter to two meters long and decorated with coloured ribbons at the end.  A legend says that women should be spanked in order to keep their health and beauty during whole next year.
                  An additional purpose can be for men to exhibit their attraction to women; unvisited women can even feel offended. Traditionally, the spanked woman gives a coloured egg and sometimes a small amount of money to the man as a sign of her thanks. In some regions, the women can get revenge in the afternoon or the following day when they can pour a bucket of cold water on any man. 
  • Easter Bunny: The Easter Bunny  is a character depicted as a rabbit bringing Easter eggs, who sometimes is depicted with clothes. In legend, the creature brings baskets filled with colored eggs, candy and sometimes also toys to the homes of children.
Significance :  Beings, like rabbits and hares, are fertility symbols of antiquity. They give birth to large litters in the early spring.Rabbits and hares are both prolific breeders. Female hares can conceive a second litter of offspring while still pregnant with the first. It is therefore not surprising that rabbits and hares should become fertility symbols. 
  • Easter Basket :  A basket of food is prepared and covered with a handmade cloth, and brought to the church to be blessed. A typical Easter basket includes bread, colored eggs, ham, horseradish, and a type of nut cake.And also butter shaped as a a lamb.
  • Easter eggs : Easter eggs are chicken eggs that are often given to celebrate Easter.
In ancient custom of coloring eggs is not known,but when eggs boiled with some flowers change their color, bringing the spring into the homes. 
              Typically dye their Easter eggs red,the color of blood, in recognition of the blood of the sacrificed Christ. Some also use the color green, in honor of the new foliage emerging after the long dead time of winter.
  • Easter Food Preparations : Apart from easter eggs, also Simnel cake,marshmallow chicks,chocolates,Sunday Roast on sundays,hot cross buns are also prepared,And also
Paksha which is traditional Easter dish made from tvorog, which is white, symbolizing the purity of Christ. Pascha is usually molded in the form of a truncated pyramid.
  • Bonfires :  Holy fire lit from stone shards at sunset used to ignite a rocket in the form of a dove, representing peace and the holy spirit.
  • Easter Bells :  Church bells are silent as a sign of mourning for one or more days before Easter,tradition that says the bells fly out of their steeples to go to Rome (explaining their silence), and return on Easter morning bringing both colored eggs and hollow chocolate shaped like eggs or rabbits.
  • Reading Mystery stories :  In Norway, a contemporary tradition is to read or watch murder mysteries at Easter.
  • Pussy Willows :  In Finland, Sweden and Denmark, traditions include egg painting and small children dressed as witches collecting candy door-to-door, in exchange for decorated pussy willows.
Easter Games
  • Egg Hunt : Egg hunt is a game during which decorated eggs, real hard-boiled ones or artificial, filled with or made of chocolate candies, of various sizes, are hidden in various places for children to find. The game may be both indoors and outdoors. 
  • EggTapping :  The egg tapping game or egg fight is a traditional Easter game. The rule is very simple: to hold a hard-boiled egg and tap eggs of other participants to break them but to keep your own undamaged.
  • Egg Rolling : Egg rolling, or an Easter egg roll is a traditional game played with eggs at Easter. Different nations have different versions of the game, usually played with hard-boiled, decorated eggs.