Easter is one the principal feast days of Christianity. It is a movable feast, taking place sometime between March 22nd and April 25th. On Easter Sunday, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The word is thought to derive from the Old English name of a Germanic goddess; in other languages, the name is usually derived from a Hebrew word from which the English Passover also has its origins.
Beginning with the period of prayer and fasting known as Lent, the Easter season culminates in Easter Week, which observes Christ's final passion. Palm Sunday commemorates Christ's entry into Jerusalem to celebrate the Jewish festival of Passover. Maundy Thursday commemorates The Last Supper, Good Friday, his crucifixion, and Easter Sunday the Christian belief that, on the third day, Jesus rose from the dead.
Like many English words for the days and seasons, and unlike the words used for Easter in the Romance languages, the word Easter derives from an Old English word, reflecting the pagan origins of some traditions now associated with Easter, such as egg rolling.
- Easter. Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved on 2009-04-10.