No Matter How You Like to Celebrate, Easter Weekend is Almost Here!

Easter’s Origins, Symbols and Traditions Around the World

On Easter weekend and between Christmas and New Years are the only times of the year that The Flag Shop closes its shop and offices for more than two days. During these times, our team takes a well-deserved break from work to enjoy quality time with family and friends. But Easter is about more than taking a 4-day weekend.

What is Easter?
For many people, Easter is about decorating eggs, chocolate bunnies, springtime, and new beginnings. But how many of us know the origins of Easter? Like Christmas, Easter is a Christian observance and celebration, which focuses on the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his resurrection three days later. On Good Friday, Jesus died, and on Easter Sunday, he rose again.

The origins of the word “Easter” are subject to debate. The word is said to be derived from the Jewish festival of Passover, which is known as “Pesach” in Hebrew. This corresponds with several European terms for Easter, such as “Pascha” in Greek, “Paques” in French and “Pasqua” in Italian. Passover celebrations take place around the same time as Easter, in remembrance of the time when the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt.

The term “Easter” is also said to reference to the Old English pagan goddess of spring or renewal, known as Ēostre or Ostara. Mentioned in the scholarly writings of a monk named Bede, Ēostre was celebrated by the Anglo-Saxons in the month of April.

Why Does Easter Fall on Different Dates Every Year?
If you’re unclear about why Easter falls on different dates every year, we’re pretty sure you’re in good company, among the many others who would love to know! The date for Easter Sunday is based on ancient rules which dictate that Easter must take place on the first Sunday following the first full moon after March 21st (also known as the vernal equinox). This means that for most Christians, Easter will fall somewhere between March 22nd and April 25th.

Brazil Boasts World’s Largest Egg
Speaking of eggs, the town of Pomerode in Brazil is home to a famous local artist named Silvana Pujol, who developed her own style of painting eggshells. Each year the town hosts an Easter Festival called Osterfest to celebrate this homegrown artist and her work. The world’s largest decorated Easter egg is the pride Pomerode and will be featured at the festival, which welcomes more than 200,000 visitors each year. The egg is 49.25’ tall and 28.6’ in diameter and took nearly seven weeks to build. The colourful design is Pujol’s creation, which was scaled to adorn the giant egg.[1]

Easter Around the World
1. Canada – People attend church services, get together with family for a special dinner, have Easter egg hunts, and give gifts of chocolate eggs and bunnies.
2. Greece – In the Orthodox tradition eggs are dyed in a dark red colour, which is symbolic of life, victory and blood.
3. France – In Alsace, people celebrate Easter with special markets where bunnies, both of the furry and the chocolate varieties, can be found.
4. India – While only 2.5% of the population is of Christian faith, Easter celebrations take place most commonly in the northeastern states. In Goa, they hold street carnivals and street plays, and give gifts of brightly-coloured lanterns and flowers.[2]
5. Australia – We’ve all heard of the chocolate bunny, but what about the chocolate bilby? The bilby is an endangered native animal to Australia and candy companies more commonly make chocolate bilbies – not bunnies, for Easter.

Vatican City and the Flag
Easter Week starts on Palm Sunday when the Pope leads a special mass at St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City. Vatican City is the smallest country in the world with a population of 800,[3] and is ruled by the head of the Roman Catholic Church. Surrounded by Rome, Italy’s capital, this tiny nation is home to the Sistine Chapel.

The flag of Vatican City is a square shape containing two vertical blocks of gold and white, with the Vatican City Coat of Arms centered on the white side. The coat of arms features the papal tiara and two keys of silver and gold representing spiritual and worldly powers. It was on June 7th, 1929, when Pope Pius XI signed the Lateran Treaty with Italy, creating Vatican City and adopting its flag.

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Happy Easter!


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