Easter

Definition

Easter is the Christian holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth three days after he died from crucifixion by the Roman magistrate Pontius Pilate (c. 30 CE). Easter Sunday is the culmination of the week-long events that preceded his death, re-enacted every year in liturgical ceremonies known as Easter Week. The word, 'Easter' may have derived from the work of St. Bede the Venerable (672-745 CE) who wrote a history of the conversion to Christianity by the Anglo-Saxons in Britain (Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum). In his writings on the calendar, he claimed that Eostre, an Anglo-Saxon and German fertility goddess, was the local term for the month of April. Eostre celebrated the renewal of fertility each spring, with symbols that included eggs and rabbits (both ancient concepts of fertility and renewal of the cycles of life).

More about: Easter

Timeline

  • c. 6 BCE - c. 30 CE
    Life of Jesus Christ.
  • 26 CE - 36 CE
    Jesus of Nazareth is crucified during the reign of Pontius Pilate in Judea.
  • c. 65 CE - c. 100 CE
    The tales of the life and work of Jesus (gospels) composed.
  • 325 CE
    Roman Emperor Constantine I calls the Council of Nicaea.
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