Happy “Easter” to Eastern Christians!

The date isn't the only difference between the Western and Eastern celebrations.

By The Editors Published on April 11, 2015

In its article, “Pascha Orthodox Easter 2015: 3 Things To Know About The Eastern Christian Celebration,” the New York-based International Business Times online magazine points out some significant differences in Orthodox Easter celebrations and traditional Western celebrations. Besides the significant variance in dates of observance (the Orthodox church goes by the Julian calendar and the Western church by the Gregorian), there are deeper differences in the “what” and “how” of the celebration. Even the name of the holiday differs, for a reason.

As the article explains:

Orthodox Christian churches from Russia to Egypt are preparing to celebrate Easter, also known as Pascha to many Eastern Christians, this Sunday. The celebration, which comes one week after most Christians around the world marked the holiday on April 5, similarly commemorates the resurrection of Jesus and shares fundamental similarities with the Western Christian celebration. However, there are also notable differences between the two celebrations, from when they are observed to what they are called. … While some English-speaking Orthodox Christians may refer to the holiday as Easter, many do not, opting instead for the traditional name Pascha. It is no coincidence that Pascha, the transliteration of the Greek word for Easter, sounds like the Hebrew word for Passover. … Maintaining this connection to Christianity’s historic roots is important for many Eastern Orthodox Christians who choose not to refer to the holiday as Easter because of that word’s historical pagan links. The Anglo-Saxon word gets its name from the Teutonic goddess Eostre, who also gives her name to the pagan spring equinox festival Ostara….

Read the rest of the article here.


Editor’s note: While the article linked above is very informative, it is media-heavy and can take a while to load. It also opens with a video with audio.







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