Easter is just around the corner, and with it comes the food, Easter eggs, the family reunions and, of course, the Easter Parade. U.S. Many American families go to church on Easter Sunday, or they reunite to get brunch or have dinner while kids look for Easter Eggs around the house. Some go to the nearest Parade wearing their “Sunday Best” (or dress their pets with striking outfits). Others just like to seize the general spring vibe of the holiday traveling to another country, or they just meet with friends for an Easter brunch.
Even though it started as a Christian festivity, Easter is now celebrated in a non-religious way by many, not only in the U.S., but in the whole world.
What is Easter?
Easter, also called Pascha, is a Christian festival commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. The New Testament describes its occurrence on the third day of his burial following his crucifixion. It’s also the culmination of the Passion of Jesus Christ, which is preceded by Lent.
When is Easter?
Easter 2023 will fall on April 9 for Western Christians and on April 16 for Eastern Christians.
Easter and its related holidays are moveable feasts, which means they don’t fall on a fixed date. The date of Easter is determined through a calculation known as computus in Latin. Determining this date requires a correlation between the lunar months and the solar year, while also accounting for the month, date, and weekday of the Julian or Gregorian calendar. It is a complex algorithm because there is a need to associate the date of Easter with the date of Passover, a Jewish feast which Christians believe is when Jesus was crucified.
Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after March 21.
In 2024, Easter will fall on March 31 for Western Christians and May 5 for Eastern Christians. In 2025 the date will be April 20 for both Western and Eastern Christians.
Easter eggs, also known as Paschal eggs, are eggs that are decorated for the feast of Easter, being one of the main traditions of the celebration.
Its origins date back to the early Christians of Mesopotamia who adopted the custom of decorating eggs from Persian tradition. They stained them with red in memory of the blood of Jesus Christ, shed at his crucifixion. Some symbolically link the cracking open of Easter Eggs with the empty tomb of Jesus Christ.
Later, the Christian Church adopted the custom and the eggs were seen as a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus. The Roman Ritual, one of the liturgical books of the Catholic Church contained the Easter Blessings of Food, with one for eggs.
Easter Eggs also have their roots in the prohibition of that food during Lent. On Easter they are blessed and people can eat them again.
Easter eggs are currently used in different customs and traditions around the world.
The Easter Parade, unlike other famous parades in the U.S., is an informal and unorganized event, with and without religious significance. People traditionally dress in new and fashionable clothing (with women’s hats being one of the main focus), looking to impress others with their outfits. Now it’s even common to see pets in outlandish costumes.
The most popular Easter Parade is the one that takes place in New York City’s Fifth Avenue, but Easter parades are held in other cities as well.
The New York Parade started as a spontaneous event in the 1870s, growing more every year. In 1947, it attracted more than a million people. Since then its popularity has declined, but it still attracts hundreds of thousands of people.
Where is the NYC Easter Parade?
The NYC Easter Parade takes place on Fifth Avenue (around 49th to 57th streets) in Manhattan from 10 am to 4 pm on Easter Sunday. Anyone can participate.
TV & Live Streaming
The NYC Easter Parade doesn’t have an official transmission on TV, but people can watch it through different news stations that cover it. Last year ABC7 NY News did a special online coverage on their website.
There are several YouTube Channels that stream the event live. One of them is The NYC Walking Show, where you can see more of the parade.
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