Gifts of Faith for Easter
Easter is also linked to the Jewish Passover due to the many different symbols it incorporates. The words Easter and Passover are often interchangeable in many of the European languages. Easter customs vary across Christianity. Many Christian decorate Easter eggs and go on Easter egg hunts. Some families also exchange gifts with one another. Below are some good Easter gift ideas for such exchanges.
Easter is considered the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. In the gospels, Jesus rose from the dead three days after he was crucified. This resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day, also known as Easter Sunday or Resurrection Sunday. The death and resurrection of Christ have been pinpointed to have occurred sometime between 26 and 36 AD.
Easter marks the very end of Lent, a 40-day time of prayer, fasting and penance. The last week of Lent is a Holy Week that contains Good Friday. Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion and death of Christ. Easter itself is not a fixed day on the calendar. It moves from year to year based on the moon and how other specific dates fall. Easter can fall anywhere from March 22 to April 25.
Adults often fill baskets with eggs, chocolate, stuffed animals and other small items for children on Easter Sunday.
History of Religious Gifts
Easter is named for a Saxon goddess who was known by the names of Oestre or Eastre, and in Germany by the name of Ostara. She is a goddess of the dawn and the spring, and her name derives from words for dawn, the shining light arising from the east. Our words for the "female hormone" estrogen derives from her name.
When Jesus Christ was crucified, His body was kept in a tomb. During this time, many people were sad and grieved His death. Finally, after three days, it was time to remove His body from the tomb. When Jesus' friends and family arrived, they found that His body was missing! Jesus had risen again and although He could not stay on Earth as He did before, He did stop to say goodbye to a few people. This let them know that He was safe and happy again, and still in our lives.
Easter, which celebrates Jesus Christ's resurrection from the dead, is Christianity's most important holiday. It has been called a moveable feast because it doesn't fall on a set date every year, as most holidays do. Instead, Christian churches in the West celebrate Easter on the first Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox on March 21. Therefore, Easter is observed anywhere between March 22 and April 25 every year. Orthodox Christians use the Julian calendar to calculate when Easter will occur and typically celebrate the holiday a week or two after the Western churches, which follow the Gregorian calendar.
Easter is linked to the Passover and Exodus from Egypt recorded in the Old Testament through the Last Supper and crucifixion that preceded the resurrection. According to the New Testament, Jesus gave the Passover meal a new meaning, as he prepared himself and his disciples for his death in the upper room during the Last Supper. He identified the matzah and cup of wine as his body soon to be sacrificed and his blood soon to be shed. Paul states, "Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast - as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed;] this refers to the Passover requirement to have no yeast in the house and to the allegory of Jesus as the Paschal lamb.
Religious Themed Gifts
Since Easter is a religious holiday, religious items make the most sense in terms of gifts. There are plenty of wonderful religious gifts at various Christ gift stores and even online at a religious gifts website. You can choose between religious children gifts, golden cross jewelry, Biblical animal pendants, cross rings, cross earrings, religious books and many other options. Christmas is still a religious holiday despite the fact that is seems to be more of a money making marketing holiday for stores. The true significance of Christmas makes religious themed gifts for children to be very appropriate.