Easter 2018 and Good Friday in Canada

Good Friday is on March 30 in 2018 and Easter Monday is on April 2.

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.

Share your holiday story, idea or comments

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 Niye Mivle:

No.I do not mind that Christian holidays that are deemed as stat holidays be listed, what I do mind is the mini monologue explaining the Christian story. Many of us in Canada are not faith based and deplore that our culture in this day and age is still marred by ideologies

Posted by Matt:

Elaine, if we decided to include stat holidays for EVERY religion there wouldnt be any work days left! The other option is to change the names of the current stats that are “religion based” like easter and christmas. But change the names all you want, just like the national anthem, people will still celebrate christmas, easter and sing the anthem the way they want to!

Posted by Quana:

Jesus' crucifixion is a historical fact, not just a religion story. One may find about it dated back from HIS time. When you have God in your heart, you have no enemy. God tells us to love our enemies. It's sad that most of us claims to be Christians but don't apply it. Really, if there is no God and everyone would be fine and get along then why can't someone who doesn't believe in God have trouble accepting people from a different belief? If 1/2 believers (one atheist, the other Muslim) have trouble getting along then how do you expect 2/2 (both atheists) to get along? What's awesome is that God loves both the Muslim and the atheist because He sacrificed His only Son, Jesus Christ for everyone so He can have an eternal relationship with everyone. We all desire an eternal relationship with the ones we love because we are created in God's image and therefore we are like HIm.

Posted by Mummypoo:

I love hearing the origins or stories that come with celebrations! All of them are interesting and have a history! I am Catholic and I celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. I see in the comments that JJR asked about Jesus and how if he died and was resurrected (though it was on Easter, not Palm Sunday), did he die again. The story of the resurrection is told in the New Testament of the Bible by the apostles...Matthew (chapter 28), Luke (chapter 24), and John (chapter 20). You won't need a bible, it can be found online. The short version...Jesus was crucified on Good Friday, was laid in a tomb and was resurrected on Easter Sunday. The stone was moved from the entrance of the tomb and no one was inside (simply unheard of!) Jesus appeared to the women and apostles, he spent time with them in his resurrected form and he did not die again, but ascended into heaven which ends the Easter season (read about it in the book of Acts chapter 1 -- New Testament). There's obviously lots more to read and understand about all that Christians celebrate and there are many who spend their lives studying it. Happy reading!! And Happy Easter!!

Posted by Ry:

There is no god. There never was. It's all make-believe. Religions are simply stories, entertainment and way to control people. Also a way to divide people. It is the #1 reason for conflicts and wars around the world. If everyone stopped believing in their 'god' and dropped religion, the world would be a better place. Treat people as you would like to be treated. People who once may have been your enemies simply because of religion could become your friend. People would no longer fight over religion or different beliefs. As for integrating other religions into holidays - I really don't see the point. For the most part, Canada is a Christian country. Go back a 100 years and that's what you got. Islam was never part of the Canadian history. Why should Canada adapt to that? I doubt Islam countries would adapt to Christian holidays.

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