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Easter is the most festive event of the Christians celebrated all over the world. It falls on a Sunday. It signifies the remembrance of Jesus Christ resurrecting from death after his crucifixion as we’ve all read in the bible.
The holy week of Easter begins on a Palm Sunday and Good Friday which is on the 19th of April this year happens two weeks prior to Easter. When the worshippers gather in the church, they are read Gospels from the Bible to remember and relive the days of Jesus.
In India, Easter is celebrated and begins with Lent and culminates with Easter Sunday.
The major followers of Christianity in India, fall in the States of Mumbai, Goa and North-eastern States like Mizoram, Meghalaya, and Nagaland. The churches are decorated and filled with cheer and joy during this time of the year. Easter is known for its symbolic Easter Bunny and Decorative eggs. Although India doesn’t celebrate the tradition of decorating the eggs, everyone is aware of this tradition which is the oldest tradition and therefore makes it a point to purchase colorfully decorated eggs and present them to the children. You will also find toys of the Easter Bunny in stores. Exchange of gifts and blessings is a tradition which everyone in India follows.
Some people fast, and some even avoid eating meat on this holy day. One can expect colorful parades on the street with kids and adults participating in disguised as various characters from the Bible.Skits are performed in churches by children and adults alike.
However Good Friday is also a day of grief and sadness, and the churches are often unlit and vacant during this time. Services happen in the afternoon, as soon as the services are over, a special traditional drink made from ingredients like leaves, vinegar,etc, which is bitter to taste is prepared for everyone.
India is known for the diverse set of people it harbours within its boundaries. And everyone is involved with everyone. Therefore, people of various other religions also join Easter celebrations along with their family, friends, and neighbours.
Easter goes back to the time of Colonial Period in India when the British Rule and the other European powers like the Portuguese and the French were in power. Easter is celebrated in the joy ofLord Jesus being resurrected after the gruesome crucifixion and sacrifice he gave for his people. The devotees believe that Lord Jesus fought with death, defeated it and rose to glory from his grave. It happened on a Sunday, and so we celebrate Easter on a Sunday.
Easter is celebrated all over India, although some states celebrate it with much enthusiasm and vigor. These few mentioned states consist of about 60% of the total Christian population which India harbors.
Goa had Portuguese rule during the Colonial times. Therefore we see more of the Portuguese way of Easter celebration in Goa. Churches are decorated cheerfully, and it gives a lasting festive impression of joy and happiness.
You find the biggest crowd gathering in Our Lady Immaculate Conception Church in Panjim, the capital city of the smallest State of India.
You will find Goa to be one of the best destinations in India to celebrate Easter. Street plays, folk songs and folk dances take place widely during Easter. Mesmerizing Carnivals are an integral part and parcel of this festival. Delicious Easter cakes are baked in the household. Friends, Family, and Relatives exchange the Holy Cross and their good wishes to each other.
The main element of this day is the "Way of the Cross" ceremony in which people perform the Jesus Christ’s crucifixion; it is a sort of a march and a skit, a tribute to the Lord who gave his life for his devotees. A huge wooden cross and a photo of Lord Jesus is carried by the people in a march starting from the church moving over the streets of Goa with a mass of people and children participating.
After all the rituals and routines of the church are over families, gather around in one place for delicious home cooked meals and baked cakes for the family to relish. Colorful lanterns are launched into the air and as they drift away so does the day.
Friends and Relatives come together for delicious lunches, and dinner parties and children also enjoy the festival as the myth of the Easter Rabbit, and the stories of Easter eggs is shared among them. Easter falls on a Sunday. Therefore, all the family members have a chance to be together and celebrate togetherness as well as the rejoicing of the resurrection of Lord Jesus.
South India has a significant amount of Christian population. Some of the states that celebrate Easter are:
Kerala has a sizable amount of Christian worshippers. After the Sunday morning mass, they are allowed to eat non-vegetarian food, consumption of alcohol and celebrate the merry occasion.
Sunday is spent with a traditional Easter breakfast, which is then followed by dinner with family and friends and the consumption of local delicacies like appam, meat and stew, and the famous egg curry, and baked bananas are all devoured by young and old alike.
In Tamil Nadu, people come from all walks of life to celebrate the joy and the festival of Easter. Special masses and services are held for all the people.
The three states of Mizoram, Nagaland, and Meghalaya have a sizable Christian population. This is how Easter is celebrated in the North East:
Meghalaya celebrates Easter during midnight by singing folk songs and dancing.
The church has special programs appointed throughout the day, like church choirs, the Easter sermons, and a special Sunrise Service. Candlelight marches take place in all churches; wherein everyone lights candles in a way expressing their joy to Lord Jesus. Even baptisms of newborn babies and Easter egg hunts take place,
People report to the church on Easter Sunday where all the events like Vigil service and reading from the testaments (old/new) are held. Initiatives are taken up to help the poor and needy and make their day special and blessed as well, by the local people.
Mizoram has it is Salvation army involved with its band waking up the people of Mizoram in the morning. The Christians fast in tribute of Lord Jesus Christ and the life he sacrificed for his people. The normal church services take place and people dance and enjoy local folk tunes, celebrating Easter with much love.
It is more of a community festival in Mizoram where all gather in one place and celebrate Easter.
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