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Chocolate, bells, family meals ... The Easter weekend is synonymous with a party for young and old. But what is the origin of this religious holiday and what do these traditions mean?
What are we celebrating at Easter?
- Easter is a religious holiday which commemorates the resurrection of Jesus for the Christian religion. During the three days before this date, the bells stop ringing, as a sign of recollection and mourning on the eve of the crucifixion of Christ. It is a festival which is celebrated, according to the years, between March 22nd and April 25th. The Jewish Pesach, it, commemorates the exodus of the Hebrews out of Egypt and the celebrations last eight days.
The egg, a symbol of renewal
- The egg, miracle of life, purity and nutritional balance, offers Easter night, both to celebrate the resurrection and to break the 40 days of hardships imposed by Lent. In ancient times, the Persians dyed them red to celebrate the New Year that was falling in early spring. From the thirteenth century, the custom of offering eggs spread in the West. Farm eggs among the poor, golden eggs richly decorated among the nobles, such as the famous Fabergé eggs at the Russian court at the end of the 19th century.
The lamb, a message of sweetness
- Centerpiece of the paschal meal, the lamb is the oldest of all Easter symbols. The best shared also since it is also sacrificed and tasted by the Muslims at the time of Eid-el-Kebir, about forty days after the end of Ramadan. For the Jews, it symbolizes the sacrificed lamb just before the passage of the Red Sea by families fleeing Egypt under the leadership of Moses. Sharing a lamb on Easter Day is one of the most vivid customs of the Christian world.
Chocolate, a gourmet tradition
- The custom of offering sweets at Easter began with simple chicken eggs, fresh. The chocolate ones appeared in the eighteenth century, when chocolate was poured into an empty shell. Their manufacture was simplified by the development, in the nineteenth century, iron molds of different forms.
- In the Catholic tradition, the bellsMute the Holy Week, resumed ringing to announce the Easter day. The children are told that these bells, which have gone to Rome, return by sowing eggs and other chocolate treats on their way.
Did you know ?
• In other European countries, the Easter messengers are not the bells: in Tyrol, it's the chicken. In Switzerland, a cuckoo. In Germany, a white rabbit. In Anglo-Saxon countries, a hare.
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