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Easter Symbols and Traditions

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Christians make up a large portion of Hong Kong’s population, and so it makes sense that many gather to celebrate Easter, a Christian holiday, each year. In fact, there are more than two billion Christians in the world. It should come as no surprise that this is one of the most important holidays to those living the Christian faith, and festivities occur all around the world. Easter Monday, a public holiday in Hong Kong, follows it. Of course, even many people who celebrate Easter know very little about its origins and modern day symbolism.

The History

Easter is the holiday celebrating the resurrection of Christianity’s Jesus following his crucifixion. It does not fall on the same day each year, but does always lie on a Sunday. It is determined by the Vernal Equinox and always falls between March 22 and April 25.

Much of the history of Easter remains unknown, but historians do believe that the celebration extends back to the ancient goddess of fertility and possibly a pagan festival of life. Today, Christians view it as the day when Jesus was brought back to life after his burial. In the Bible, Mary Magdalene and a few friends went to the tomb to see Jesus’s tomb three days after he was crucified. They found that he had risen, according to the story. Christians celebrate this day as a joyous celebration of his rising and the religious significance behind it. For this reason, some churches call the holiday “Resurrection Sunday” to set it apart from secular activities.

Easter Eggs

Eggs became a symbol of Easter in Europe, probably during the Medieval years. Eggs were not to be consumed during the period of Lent before the holiday, and any eggs laid were boiled and saved for the festivities. Additionally, eggs are symbols of fertility and life. Easter eggs may be symbolic of the resurrection because life comes from eggs. An egg is essentially the seed of life, making it a common symbol of the resurrection.

 

Today, Easter egg hunts are common festivities on the holiday, especially after dying and decorating eggs. Adults often hide eggs for children to find. Some families also have races in which they determine who rolls the egg furthest and fastest. Special events at locations like Ocean Park or Discovery Bay offer fantastic Easter activities for the whole family.

 

It is still unknown why so many people dye and decorate eggs for Easter. In Europe, gifts of beautiful eggs were given as gifts. Even the Egyptians and Romans dyed eggs for their own festivals each spring. The reasons why remain somewhat of a mystery.

 

Easter Bunny

The first written record of an Easter Bunny was published in the late 1600s. Much like eggs, rabbits are considered symbols of fertility and life. Germany is likely the first place rabbits became a symbol for Easter, but the tradition of having an “Easter bunny” hide eggs for children to find lives on. It is also common for families to celebrate Easter by having the “Easter Bunny” bring baskets of treats to good children.

 

Celebrating Easter in Hong Kong

Hong Kong celebrations often call for celebrating parties to attend a church service. Of course, Easter can also be a day to have fun and relate to family members and friends. Picnics and outdoor activities are common on Easter.

 

Giving gifts is also customary. Easter baskets are common among celebrations, and many families choose to purchase gift hampers to celebrate the holiday. Baskets full of treats are always welcome for the holiday, especially if they contain sweets. After all, Easter is one of the most popular holidays for candy.

 

No matter how you choose to celebrate Easter, plenty of good times are to be found in Hong Kong. There are plenty of festivities to enjoy, even if you do not celebrate the religious meaning behind the holiday.

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