Easter Week

Easter Week is the week beginning with the Christian feast of Easter (Sunday) and ending the next Saturday (Easter Saturday). The term is sometimes inaccurately used referring to the week before Easter, which is actually Holy Week

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday (often just called Easter or Easter Day) is the first Sunday after the first Full Moon after March 21st.  The Beginning of Eastertide, or Paschaltide, the season of Easter, begins on Easter Sunday and lasts until the day of Pentecost, seven weeks later.
The name Easter comes from Eostre, an Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring. The month of April was called "Eostremonat," or Eostre's Month

In Medieval Europe, eggs were forbidden during Lent. Eggs laid during that time were often boiled and preserved. Eggs were an important part of the Easter meal. Christians in the Middle East and in Greece painted eggs bright red to symbolize the blood of Christ. Hollow eggs (created by piercing the shell with a needle and blowing out the contents) were decorated with pictures of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and other religious figures in ArmeniaHiding surprises in the eggs is believed to have originated in Russia where Marie wife of Alexander III would hide jewelry, gold and gems in a special egg made for her by Peter Carl Fabergé in 1885.

The Easter bunny originated in Germany, where it was called the "Easter hare", who laid eggs for children to find. Hares and rabbits have long been symbols of fertility.  German immigrants brought the tradition with them to America where it spread. With it came baked cakes for Easter in the shape of hares, as well as chocolate bunnies and chocolate eggs. Other early easter treats at this time were Pretzels and Fresh Buns.

Easter has since become a Christian holiday (often called Pascha * See Below). to celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion at Calvary as described in the New Testament.  Easter is preceded by Lent, a 40 day period of penance, fasting, prayer. The last week of Lent is called Holy Week, and it contains the days of the Easter Triduum, including Maundy Thursday (commemorating Maundy and the Last Supper -*  see below),  Good Friday (commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus) and Easter Sunday (also referred to as Easter Day, Easter, Resurrection Day and Resurrection Sunday). Easter is followed by a 50 period called Eastertide or the Easter Season, ending with Pentecost Sunday. The people would attend church in their best clothes, march through the streets. This is believed to be the origin of the Easter Parades.

The date for Easter is determined on a lunisolar calendar similar to the Hebrew calendar. The First Council of Nicaea established the date of Easter to be the first Sunday after the full moon following the northern hemisphere's vernal equinox (the Paschal Full Moon). In Western Christianity, using the Gregorian calendar, Easter always falls on a Sunday from March 22nd to April 25th.  The following day, Easter Monday, is a legal holiday in many countries with predominantly Christian traditions. 

In Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Lithuaniania, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and the Ukraine, Easter Sunday is celebrated by decorating Easter Eggs.

In Belgium, and The Netherlands, Easter Sunday is celebrated with the coloring of eggs, the giving of hollow chocolate shaped like eggs or rabbits, and the

return of the Church bells , which have been silent since Maundy Thursday. 

In Bermuda, Easter Sunday is celebrated by flying kites, symbolizing Christ's ascent to heaven.

In Bulgaria, Easter Sunday is called Velikden (Easter Day) and is celebrated by having Easter eggs that were decorated decorated on Maundy Thursday "fight", the last surviving egg is called borak. People knock the tips of two eggs together. If the shell of one egg cracks it loses, a process that continues until just one egg remains.  This game is called Egg Tapping in Louisianna. It is performed as a tournament in Marksville, Louisianna (one egg per person).

In Cyprus, Easter Sunday is celebrated by painting easter eggs and lighting organized great fires in the yards of Schools and Churches.

In Croatia and Slovenia, Easter Sunday is celebrated by bringing a basket of bread, colored eggs, ham, horseradish, and potica (traditional nut-cake) to the local church and having it blessed.

In Finland, Sweden and Denmark, Easter Sunday is celebrated with egg painting and children dressing as witches  going door to door exchanging pussy willows for candy.

In France, Easter Sunday is celebrated with the coloring of eggs, the giving of hollow chocolate shaped like eggs or rabbits, and the return of the Church bells, which were silent the day before (Holy Saturday).

In Germany, Easter Sunday is celebrated by decorating eggs and hanging them on branches on trees or bushes (Easter Egg Trees).
In Norway, Easter Sunday, besides painting eggs, is celebrated by watching Murder-Mysteries on television.
In Scotland, Northern England, and Northern Ireland, Easter Sunday is celebrated by racing eggs down steep hills.
In Sweden, and Denmark, Easter Sunday is celebrated with a smörgåsbord (large meal of herring, salmon, potatoes, eggs, and other kinds of food).

Easter Sunday is celebrated on...

2013 March 31st
2014 April 20th
2015 April 5th
2016 March 27th
2017 April 16th
2018 April 1st
2019 April 21st
2020 April 12th
2021 April 4th


Pascha is the most important festival of the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches, more so than Christmas.  It celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion at Calvary as described in the New Testament. In Eastern Christianity,  Pascha begins with Great Lent, which is  40 days, starting with  Clean Monday.  The last week of Great Lent (following the fifth Sunday of Great Lent) is called Palm Week, and ends with Lazarus Saturday. After Lazarus Saturday comes Palm Sunday, then Holy Week. Holy Week consists of  Holy Monday, Holy Tuesday, Holy Wednesday, Holy Thursday, Holy Friday, Holy Saturday and finally Pascha.  Pascha is immediately proceeded by a service called "Midnight Office" which ends just before the stroke of midnight on Holy Saturday night. At midnight the Paschal celebration begins, with Paschal Matins, Paschal Hours, and the Paschal Divine Liturgy.

Bright Week

In the Eastern Orthodox Church and in Eastern Catholic Churches, Pascha (Easter) is followed by Bright Week. The Days of Bright Week are Sunday of Pascha, Bright Monday, Bright Tuesday, Bright Wednesday, Bright Thursday, Bright Friday, Bright Saturday. It is a joyous week filled with singing and feasting. 

Easter Monday

Easter Monday is the second day of Easter Week or the Octave of Easter. Easter Monday is an Official holiday in various parts of the Christian world. In the Eastern Orthodox Church and in Eastern Catholic Churches it is called Bright Monday, it the day after  Pascha (Easter), and is the second day of Bright Week

Easter Monday is Celebrated in...
Albania (Among Eastern Christians), Andorra, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria (Among Eastern Christians), Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde Islands, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Chad, Cook Islands, Croatia, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus (Among Eastern Christians), Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Faroe Islands, Fiji, Finland, France, French Guiana, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia (Among Eastern Christians), Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece (Among Eastern Christians), Greenland, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Iran, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Republic of Macedonia (Among Eastern Christians), Madagascar, Malawi, Martinique, Moldova (Among Eastern Christians), Monaco, Montenegro (Among Eastern Christians), Montserrat, Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Niue, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Romania (Among Eastern Christians), Russia (Among Eastern Christians), Rwanda, Senegal, Serbia (Among Eastern Christians), Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain (Northern and Eastern Regions), St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Pierre and Miquelon, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria (Among Eastern Christians), Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine (Among Eastern Christians), United Kingdom (except Scotland), U.S. Virgin Islands, Vanuatu, Western Samoa, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

In Roman Catholic communities it is sometimes called "Egg Nyte".
In Eastern Orthodox Communities, Easter Monday is known as "Bright Monday" or "Renewal Monday".
In Australia, Easter Monday is a public holiday.
In Canada, Easter Monday is a public holiday, It is a day off for civil service and public schools.
In Czech Republic, Easter Monday is called "Pomlazk".
In England, Easter Monday is a Bank Holiday.
In Germany, Easter Monday Is a day of HolyDay of Obligation for Roman Catholics. It is celebrated with Egg Races by by most denominations of Christians.
In Guayana, it is a day for flying holy kites.
In Hong Kong, Easter Monday is celebrate with painting Easter eggs and Easter egg races.
In Hungary, Easter Monday is called Locsoló Hétfő, "Watering Monday". Water, perfume or perfumed water is often sprinkled in exchange for an Easter egg.
In Portugal, the Anjo Festival or  Ivy Festival  is held on Easter Monday.
In Slovakia, Easter Monday is called veľkonočný pondelok,   Šibačka, Polievačka, or Oblievačka.
In South Africa, Easter Monday is celebrated as Family Day 

Easter Monday is Celebrated on...
2013 April 1st
2014 April 21st
2015 April 6th
2016 March 28th
2017 April 17th
2018 April 2nd
2019 April 22nd
2020 April 13th
2021 April 5th

Dyngus Day 

In Poland, Easter Monday is called Dyngus Day. Water is poured on people all over the country (usually girls being courted). This action has roots in spiritual cleansing, similar to baptism.  This day symbolicly celebrates the baptism of Dyngus (A Pagan God), essentially celebrating the transformation of the Polish from a Pagan to a Christian people. 

The largest Dynus Day Celebration is actually in Buffalo, New York in the Polonia District  It includes Festivities at Churches and Pubs and The World's First Dyngus Day Parade. Similar to St. Patrick's Day, the theme is "Everybody's Polish on Dyngus Day".  Dyngus Day is also celebrated in Chicago and South Bend, IN; New York City, Cleveland, parts of Michigan, and parts of New Hampshire where there are significant Polish communitites. 

Sham El Nessim

In Egypt, the ancient festival of Sham El Nessim is celebrated on Easter Monday. It is traditionally celebrated by  feasting and  painting eggs and egg races by the Eastern Christian Church and the Coptic Church.  The festival dates back to Pharonic times (about 2700 BC) and is celebrated by both Egyptian Christians and Muslims more as an Egyptian national holiday with a lesser religious connection. 

Easter Tuesday

Easter Tuesday is the third day of Easter Week. In the Eastern Orthodox Church and in Eastern Catholic Churches it is called Bright Tuesday and is the third day of Bright Week.
Easter Tuesday (or Bright Tuesday) is Celebrated on...
2013 April 2nd
2014 April 22nd
2015 April 7th
2016 March 29th
2017 April 18th
2018 April 3rd
2019 April 23rd
2020 April 14th
2021 April 6th 

Easter Wednesday

Easter Wednesday is the fourth day of the Christian festival Easter Week. In the Eastern Orthodox Church and in Eastern Catholic Churches it is called Bright Wednesday and is the fourth day of Bright Week.
Easter Wednesday (or Bright Wednesday) is Celebrated on...
2013 April 3rd
2014 April 23rd
2015 April 8th
2016 March 30th
2017 April 19th
2018 April 4th
2019 April 24th
2020 April 15th
2021 April 7th

Easter Thursday

Easter Thursday is the fifth day of the Christian festival Easter Week. In the Eastern Orthodox Church and in Eastern Catholic Churches it is called Bright Thursday  and is the fifth day of Bright Week.
Easter Thursday  (or Bright Thursday) is Celebrated on...
2013 April 4th
2014 April 24th
2015 April 9th
2016 March 31st
2017 April 20th
2018 April 5th
2019 April 25th
2020 April 16th
2021 April 8th

Easter Friday

Easter Friday is the sixth day of the Christian festival Easter Week. In the Eastern Orthodox Church and in Eastern Catholic Churches it is called Bright Friday and is the sixth day of Bright Week. Bright Friday is the annual feast day of the Theotokos (Mother of God), as the "Life-giving Spring".

Easter Friday (or Bright Friday) is Celebrated on...
2013 April 5th
2014 April 25th
2015 April 10th
2016 April 1st
2017 April 21th
2018 April 6th
2019 April 26th
2020 April 17th
2021 April 9th  

Easter Saturday 

Easter Saturday is the Saturday following the Christian festival of Easter. It is the last day of Easter Week, and the day that proceeds the Octave Day of Easter (Low Sunday). Easter Saturday is also known as Bright Saturday, Saturday of Easter Week, or Saturday in Easter Week. In the Eastern Orthodox Church and in Eastern Catholic Churches it is called Bright Saturday and it the Saturday following Pascha (Easter) and is the last day of Bright Week. Sometimes "Easter Saturday" is incorrectly used to refer to the day before Easter (which is actually Holy Saturday). 

Easter Saturday (or Bright Saturday) is Celebrated on...
2013 April 6th
2014 April 26th
2015 April 11th
2016 April 2nd
2017 April 22nd
2018 April 7th
2019 April 27th
2020 April 18th
2021 April 10th  

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