"I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die." (John 11:25)
Easter Sunday, the day that marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ, is celebrated by Christians throughout 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 Judaea, was sentenced to death by crucifixion on Friday. However, as he had promised his disciples during the Last Supper, he came back.
Two days after he was buried in a tomb at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, three women visited the place to anoint him. Early morning, when the sun had just risen, they saw that the stone covering the entrance of the tomb was moved and two angels were sitting beside his grave.
The angels informed the visitors that Jesus Crist, as he had promised his disciples during the Last Supper, has risen from his grave.
Easter Sunday begins with a special early morning prayer mass often referred to as 'Sun Rise Mess'. Every year, Christians gather together at dawn at a church, singing hymns and reading the "Resurrection Story" from Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John's gospels in the New Testament.
Every year, my alarm clock goes off at 3 am and within an hour, we rush to the church. The mess is held either on the lawn or the terrace of the church building. For me and my siblings, it is still the only day of the year when we enjoy a beautiful sunrise, accompanied by the fragrance of scented candles, together. The mess ends as the sun peeks through the white clouds, commemorating Jesus' resurrection. This year, owing to the pandemic, I will not be joining the sunrise mess.
The preparations for Easter begin at least a week before the big day. An exciting part, especially for children, 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" who lays colourful eggs for children who have been good, was brought about by German immigrants in Pennsylvania.
Though there is no reference to such incidents in the Bible, the Easter Bunny has become a well-adopted tradition for Christians around the world. As the rabbit is the symbol of life and eggs signify a new birth, no one forgets them during Easter, the day when Jesus was granted a new life.
With the concept of Easter Bunny comes yet another fun activity: creating Easter Eggs. Being good at art, my cousin Zenith and I are always in charge of the Easter eggs at our home, for our siblings Kyrie, Neil, and Clarissa. We usually get 60 eggs, some paint, and brushes.
Though we require only 42 eggs as we make 7 boxes each consisting of 6, we have to take the eggs out without breaking the shells, which is practically impossible. It takes us at least 10 days to prepare the shells, dry them, and finally box them in paper boxes for our younger siblings – Sharley, Bitto, Ritika, Neil, Clarissa and Kyrie. Our granddad, the youngest one at heart, never forgets to wear his Easter Bunny costume on Easter eve.
Finally, as the sun sets, chaos turns into celebration as we arrange the grand feast, with baked fish, turkey, bread, pulav, and lots of candies. The day always ends in laughter, warmth, and new hopes, with loved ones by our side.