Easter is an occasion to rejoice and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. All over the world, people bask in the triumph of Christianity, on this holy day. The festive spirit of Easter is widely prevalent months before the festival arrives, with malls, shopping complexes, houses and churches involved in hectic preparation for the event. Right from colorful eggs to Easter bunny cakes, Eastertide engulfs the world in various ways. As most of the people have a week off for Easter, parties seem to be the order of the day. People organize get-togethers and parties to enjoy the occasion with family, friends and others. Easter is one of the most popular festivals across the United States.
Going back to history, we find that Easter did not enjoy the status of a popular festival in the hearts of the early settlers in the US. The main reason behind this was most of these settlers were Puritans, who did not believe in ceremonies related to religious festivals. People in certain parts, in fact, discouraged Easter celebrations. Many of the customs associated with the celebration of Easter go back to the ancient celebrations of spring. It was only after the Civil War that Easter and its importance came to be felt in America just like in Europe. It was the initiative of the Presbyterians.
People, slowly and gradually, found the legend of resurrection as a great source of motivation and hope. People realized that life was mortal and hence, became wary of death and destruction. Easter season gave them great fillip and added vigor to their lives. Today, special services are held in churches on Easter Sunday to celebrate Jesus Christ's resurrection. Eggs, rabbits, hares and young animals form the major symbols of Easter as they represent rebirth and return to fertility of nature in the spring. Eggs are either hard-boiled and decorated or made from plastic, chocolate, candy or other materials.
Easter egg hunt is a common game conducted in the United States. Eggs are hidden all around the house which kids hunt enthusiastically. Easter egg roll is another popular activity on Easter. The egg is placed on a flat ground while the kids are asked to push it along with a spoon. Easter activities largely take place on the White House lawn. Each year, hundreds of children participate in various activities and games organized. An annual Easter carnival called 'Mardi Gras' is conducted in New Orleans featuring parades, jazz music bands, dazzling costumes and a great ball. Baked ham, potatoes, hot cross buns and vegetables are the chief dishes prepared on this holiday. Easter is also considered to be an auspicious day for weddings.
Of the Easter celebrations throughout the world, the history of Easter in the United States is unique and very interesting.