The Easter season is the most joyful and festive season of the Christian year. Worship during this time features the prominent return of the Gloria in Excelsis (“Glory in the highest”) and the Alleluia (“Praise the Lord”), expressions of joy and praise that were removed from the liturgy at the beginning of Lent. Hymns and organ music are often reinforced with trumpets and trombones, adding to the celebratory nature of the season. An old custom that is observed in some churches is that kneeling is done away with on Easter Sunday. Standing – a symbol of rising and resurrection – is the posture for the confession of sins and the reception of Holy Communion. Chancels and sanctuaries are usually decorated with banners and flowers, especially Easter lilies. White, symbolic of gladness and holiness, is the liturgical color for all the Sundays of Easter. Finally, the paschal candle is allowed to shine continuously throughout the Great Fifty Days.
What Do People Do?
Many Christians worldwide celebrate Easter with special church services, music, candlelight, flowers and the ringing of church bells. Easter processions are held in some countries such as the Philippines and Spain. Many Christians view Easter as the greatest feast of the Church year. It is a day of joy and celebration to commemorate that Jesus Christ is risen, according to Christian belief.
Many towns and villages in Italy have sacred dramas about the episodes of the Easter story – these are held in the piazzas on Easter Day. Pastries called corona di nove are baked in the form of a crown. Other traditional foods include capretto (lamb) and agnello (kid / goat). Easter in Poland is celebrated with family meals that include ham, sausages, salads, babka (a Polish cake) and mazurka, or sweet cakes filled with nuts, fruit and honey.
Although Easter maintains great religious significance, many children in countries such as Australia, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, think of it as a time to get new spring clothes, to decorate eggs and to participate in Easter egg hunts where eggs are hidden by the Easter Bunny. Some children receive Easter baskets full of candy, snacks, and presents around this time of the year.