Easter is one of the world’s major religious holidays. Many people look forward to the combination of Easter and the arrival of spring. Easter is a holiday based on the lunar cycle, so it occurs on a different day every year. But it usually falls sometime in late March or early April.
Spring in many cultures is marked by festivals and other celebrations to say farewell to the long, dark, cold winter. We look forward to the annual arrival of spring, as the leaves and flowers start to arrive, the rains come, and the days gradually get longer.
So, we have a challenge for you. We are going to quiz you on the history and traditions of Easter, as well as other celebrations of spring all over the world. You’ll really need to use your noggin on some of these challenging questions, so let’s see how you do!
Joselyn wasn’t too keen on multiple choice in high school. She vividly remembers the first biology exam she passed by only the skin of her teeth, which dragged her overall average down into the embarrassingly low 90s (she doesn’t want to talk about it). After swearing off any high school or university courses that required multiple choice tests, Joselyn managed to get an English degree by sweet-talking her professors into offering only essay-style exams. Needless to say, this did not exactly endear her to her peers. This rocky start smoothed out in time, though, and after tumbling down a black quiz hole one day while putting off job hunting, Joselyn realized her hatred of all things a-b-or-c had faded and she actually enjoyed dreaming up new ideas for questions and dangerously correct-sounding answers. You won’t find her quizzes an easy ride, but Joselyn just wants to make sure you’re really testing your knowledge.
“Easter” comes from the Old English word “Eostre,” which gets its origins from an old German word meaning, “dawn.”
Another possibility for the name Easter has pagan roots. An Old English goddess by the name of Ostara is the goddess of the dawn.
In Greek and Latin, the holiday is known as Pascha, which is a variation of the Hebrew word for the Passover feast Pesach. In Polish, it’s something else entirely. The Polish term is “Wielkanoc,” which means “Great night,” and Easter Sunday specifically is called “Wielka Niedziela,” meaning “the Great Sunday.”
Many countries use some variation of Easter or Pascha in their naming, but in Hungarian, the word for Easter is “husvet,” which literally means, “taking the meat” (many practitioners refrain from eating meat during Lent). In Finnish, the word for Easter is Pääsiäinen, which means, “liberation.”
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