Easter 2019 and Good Friday in Canada

Good Friday is on April 19 in 2019 and Easter Monday is on April 22.

Good Friday is the Friday before Easter Sunday and it is a federal statutory holiday across Canada.

It's a complicated but precise formula that determines the day Easter Sunday is celebrated: It is the first Sunday after the first full moon in spring (after March 21st) which can occur as early March 22 and as late as April 25.

Good Friday marks the death of Jesus Christ according to the Christian religion. It is a fundamental part of Christianity along with the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday. Many agree that this is a more important holiday than Christmas since it is the ultimate proof that Jesus is the son of God because he came back from death.

In provinces where Family Day, Islander Day and Louis Riel Day are not observed Good Friday is the first stat holiday after New Years Day.

In Quebec employers can choose to give the day off either on Good Friday or Easter Monday.

Bunnies & eggs

Easter is a highly commercialized holiday when tons of chocolate is sold in the form of easter eggs and easter bunnies. The Easter Bunny brings a basket full of goodies to children for Easter. Sometimes the gifts are hidden so children have to look for them - this is called an egghunt.

Rabbits and eggs are symbols of fertility and were first mentioned in German literature as early as the 1600s.

Easter traditons

There are several traditions for this time of the year. Egg painting is very popular and easy to do. Egg paint kits can be purchased in stores but you can also dye hard boiled eggs using a jar of beet juice! To give eggs extra shine you can rub them with fat - bacon is perfect for this. You laugh now but once you try it you'll see how well this works!

Petting zoos are popular around Easter, too, where kids get a chance to pet and feed bunnies and other animals. Some people even buy pet bunnies but you should only do this if you are ready to truly commit to having a pet - no impulse shopping please.

Family get-togethers are also part of the Easter weekend. After Christmas and Thanksgiving the Easter weekend meal is the third largest meal nationwide.

Lent

In the Catholic religion there are 40 days of fasting preceding Easter. The lent starts on Ash Wednesday and ends on holy Saturday. It is observed to imitate the 40-day fast of Jesus before his death. Generally only one meal a day is allowed and meals shouldn't include meat or fish. Exceptions apply for children and the elderly. The day after the lent period ends people eat a rich breakfast - break the fast - which consists of eggs, ham, bread and fish followed by games throughout the day.

 

Do you want perfume? A tradition of "sprinkling" in Hungary

A unique Easter tradition in Hungary is the sprinkling of women with parfume or cologne on Easter Sunday.

Men and older boys get up early in the morning and visit girls and women in their families (they are supposed to arrive when women are still sleeping) and sometimes even walk from house to house to visit strangers in the neighbourhood and sprinkle scented water (parfume) on their heads.

According to tradition this keeps women beautiful until next Easter. They usually recite a "sprinkling poem" and ask for permission to sprinkle the ladies. Some fun-loving (and brave) men sometimes use a bucket of cold water instead of perfume ;-)

In return for the sprinkling women give them hand painted eggs, home-made cake, a shot of liquor and even money.



The Origins of Easter

This short article was sent to us by Lawrence - thank you!

The month of April was dedicated to Eastre the Anglo-Saxon goddess of offspring and fertility, her symbol being the rabbit. Eggs and rabbits symbolize birth and fertility in many cultures, with eggs decorated in bright colors and given away as gifts. In 325 A.D., at the Council of Nicaea, Emperor Constantine issued the Easter Rule stating that Easter must be celebrated on a Sunday between the dates of March 22 and April 25. Nowadays, many Christians, in place of Easter, celebrate Resurrection Sunday to commemorate that Christ is risen from the dead and He sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for us.

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What games do you play at Easter? How do you celebrate? What do you eat? Send in your Easter-related comments below:

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Recent comments
Posted by Heather:

So, Niye, you are happy to get the time off of work, but you resent an explanation (which you are not required to read)of why you are given the day off with pay? If it weren't for the reason behind this explanation, you wouldn't be getting the day off. Think of it as a First World Problem, and be thankful for your running water and flush toilets.

Posted by Sherry:

There are far more Christians then not! More so have migrated back to Christianity as I did as i saw how deplorable society has become . With that said and done , I pray God slaps you upside the head as he did to me and give the rest of you a wake up call!

Posted by Daphine Katushabe:

Saying most people don't believe in christianity doesn't mean the country has no Culture and beliefs. Canada accepting you in their country doesn't mean it gave up all it's cultural beliefs. That's why it has Catholic schools as part of them. Don't ask for too much You might irritate them

Posted by Kevin:

According to what I have read, Easter is based on the pagan practice of celebrating the first full moon after the March equinox. So Easter as we have it actually is not about Christ and the resurrection, somehow the two got mixed together. Therefore there is no need to get upset about Easter being a religious holiday. Furthermore, if it was about the crucifixion and resurrection, it would not be at a different time each year. We just use the Friday and Sunday of that weekend to honor the crucifixion and resurrection. So Easter with its bouncing around from year to year, March one year and April the next, is about the first full moon after the March solstice.

Posted by Linda :

For those that work every Sunday- so what good is having Friday or Monday off- we still can't celebrate Easter with family!

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