Easter is the most important Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, which, according to the New Testament, took place on the third day after his burial in about year 30 in nowadays Jerusalem. But why are we celebrating this event and what historical circumstances led to it?
The celebration of Easter has a very long history. Much longer than today's more important Christmas. Easter is based on the Jewish holiday of Passover, which is also called Jewish Easter. The first direct evidence of the celebration of Christian Easter is the sermon of the famous Greek bishop Melito of Sardis from the 2nd century, which describes, among other things, the relationship between Jewish and Christian Easter and also sets out the way to celebrate it. At the same time, Easter was also celebrated on Sundays in most places. Approximately 150 years later, at the First Council of Nicaea, convened in 325 by the Roman Emperor Constantine I the Great to unite a divided Christian community, it was stipulated that the date for the celebration of Easter would be calculated by the bishop of Alexandria and announced by the bishop in Rome. The calculation of this date is based on the original Jewish calendar, and therefore it is movable in our Gregorian calendar.
Eggs are generally a symbol of fertility and rebirth, but for Christians, Easter eggs symbolize the empty tomb that women found when they came to anoint Jesus' body with oil. The red Easter eggs then symbolize the blood of Christ shed during his crucifixion, and it is for this reason that this custom began to be celebrated among the early Christians in what was then Mesopotamia. In the past, only chicken eggs were used for celebrations, but today we can find chocolate, wooden and plastic eggs, especially in Western countries. Chicken eggs are then more common in Eastern and Central Europe, where the holiday spread earlier thanks to Orthodox Christianity.