When is Easter 2017?

(Pixabay/Gerd Altmann)Three crosses on a hill to commemorate Jesus' crucifixion.

The Lenten season of penance and fasting is almost over and Christians all over the world celebrate the culmination of this 40-day period with Easter that traditionally happens on a Sunday ("Easter Sunday").

The celebration marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after his death and is a symbol of new hope and new life.

When is Easter 2017?

Unlike Christmas, which is celebrated every 25th of December, there is no fixed date for Easter.

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Traditionally, Easter happens on the first Sunday "after the paschal full moon" or what is also known as the "vernal equinox." However, such is not always the case because one must take into consideration the movement of the moon as indicated in the lunar calendar, which Jews and Muslims still follow.

The Romans and early Christians reportedly want to celebrate Jesus' resurrection on the day the Jews commemorate the Passover as part of their "attempt to emancipate itself from Judaism." This led to the Council of Nicea's decision to celebrate Easter on the first Sunday that has the full moon after the vernal equinox. The equinox usually happens on March 21.

This year, Easter will fall on April 16.

What is Easter?

Cultures all over the world celebrate Easter with egg hunts, basket of treats and chocolate eggs, but the day is more than that. For Christians all over the world, the holiday marks Jesus' triumph over death and could only mean that there really is an afterlife as the religion claims.

In pagan traditions, it is said that the word "Easter" came from the goddess of spring and fertility, Eostre. Meanwhile other accounts said that it originated from "hebdomada alba" or "white week" to refer to people's clothing during baptism that happens on white week. It was later translated into "esostarum" in Old High German and this soon became "Easter."

While the word "Easter" does not appear in the Bible, it was adapted by the Christians to describe the Sunday when Jesus rose from the tomb.

In the Biblical sense, CBN called Easter as "the new covenant between God and his people." It told the story of Jesus as the sacrificial lamb who gave his life for the forgiveness of sins of his people. His resurrection after being buried for three days marks his victory over sin and death that would eternally separate his people from him.

Much as there is no record of Easter being celebrated in the Bible, Christians all over the world honor this day with great significance.

Copyright © 2016 Ecumenical News