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Prayers, peace & Easter wish

About 2.3 billion Christians all over the world, belonging to various denominations, celebrate Easter on Sunday, which marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his death by crucifixion and burial in Jerusalem about 2,014 years ago.

In an informal gathering at St. Xavier’s on Wednesday, Father Felix Raj, the principal of St. Xavier’s College, said: “Easter is celebration of new life, it is a victory over death. Jesus’s resurrection from death symbolises the ultimate victory of good over evil”.

“The gift of the risen Christ is peace. I pray that there be peace and harmony in our country especially during this election,” he added.

Father Felix Raj took the opportunity to wish chief minister Mamata Banerjee, her team of ministers and all Calcuttans “a very joyful celebration of Easter and all God’s blessings on everyone”.

Many Easter traditions around the world are related to the idea of new life and springtime. Of all the symbols, one of the most recognisable is the egg, symbol of new life and fertility. Eggs have been associated with Easter for centuries.

Originally, according to historians, eggs were painted bright, symbolic of the light of spring. They were used in things like rolling contests and exchanged as gifts.

Later they were decorated with fancy designs and exchanged as signs of love. In Europe, eggs were given to workers at Easter. In Germany, they were given to children along with other gifts. In Greece, Easter eggs are crimson to honour the blood of Christ. In parts of Germany, green eggs are given on Maundy Thursday.

Easter eggs in the Ukraine and other Eastern European countries are elaborately decorated with intricate designs, paper cuttings and painting. Some like the Ukrainian pysanky are works of art. Designs are made in melted beeswax on a clean white egg. They are dipped in successive batches of dye and successive layers of wax are applied to produce intricate designs.

In America, hollow eggshells are decorated with pictures of religious figures and designs. In some countries the hollow eggs are hung on a tree or shrub, according to Holidays on the Net.

American traditions also vary widely and have been influenced by many cultures in the American salad bowl. There is the Easter Bunny who in some homes brings candy eggs to children. Easter egg hunts in parks and gardens are popular. Some families have hot cross buns on Easter; others might have fresh butter moulded in the shape of a lamb.

Compiled by Goethals Team