On the celebration of Easter Sunday | The Daily Star

Illustration: Oishik Jawad

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Illustration: Oishik Jawad

“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies, and he who lives by believing in me will never die.” (John 11:25)

Easter Sunday, the day which marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ, is celebrated by Christians around the world. According to the Holy Bible, Jesus, after being captured by the army led by Pontius Pilate, the fifth governor of the Roman province of Judea, was sentenced to death by crucifixion on Friday. However, as he had promised his disciples at the Last Supper, he returned.

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Two days after his burial in a tomb at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, three women came to the place to anoint him. Early in the morning, as the sun had just risen, they saw that the stone covering the entrance to the tomb was moved and two angels were seated beside his tomb.

The angels informed the visitors that Jesus Christ, as he had promised his disciples at the Last Supper, had risen from his grave.

Easter Sunday begins with a special early morning prayer mass, often referred to as the “sunrise mess”. Each year Christians gather at dawn in a church, singing hymns and reading the “resurrection story” from the gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John in the New Testament.

Every year my alarm goes off at 3 a.m. and in less than an hour we are rushing to church. The mess takes place either on the lawn or on the terrace of the church. For me and my brothers and sisters, it is still the only day of the year when we together enjoy a beautiful sunrise, accompanied by the scent of scented candles. The mess ends when the sun breaks through the white clouds, commemorating the resurrection of Jesus. This year, due to the pandemic, I will not be joining the Sunrise Mess.

Preparations for Easter begin at least a week before the big day. An exciting part, especially for kids, is waiting for the Easter Bunny to arrive with a basket full of bunny-shaped treats. The myth of the Easter Bunny, an egg-laying hare named “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws” that lays colored eggs for children who have been good, was created by German immigrants in Pennsylvania.

Although there is no reference to such incidents in the Bible, the Easter Bunny has become a tradition well adopted by Christians around the world. Since the rabbit is the symbol of life and the eggs signify a new birth, no one forgets them at Easter, the day Jesus was granted new life.

Along with the concept of the Easter Bunny comes another fun activity – making Easter eggs. Being good at art, my cousin Zenith and I are still in charge of the Easter eggs at home, for our siblings Kyrie, Neil and Clarissa. Usually we get 60 eggs, paint and brushes.

Although we only need 42 eggs because we are making 7 boxes, each consisting of 6, we have to take out the eggs without breaking the shells, which is practically impossible. It takes us at least 10 days to prepare the shells, dry them and finally pack them in paper boxes for our younger siblings – Sharley, Bitto, Ritika, Neil, Clarissa and Kyrie. Our grandfather, the youngest at heart, never forgets to wear his Easter bunny costume on Easter eve.

Finally, as the sun sets, the chaos turns into celebration as we have the big feast, with baked fish, turkey, bread, pulav and lots of candy. The day always ends with laughter, warmth and new hope, with loved ones by our side.

Alicia R. Rucker