EASTER is one of the major festivals of Kerala celebrated mostly by the Christians of this Easter Festival, Kerala.Easter is celebrated in the month of April by the Christians all over the Kerala soon after the Good Friday.This is a celebration of the resurrection of Christ and is undertaken with religious fervor by all the Christians of the state.Easter Festival in Kerala On Easter, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, as it is told in the Bible. This holy day celebrates the triumph of life over death. Historically, the resurrection of Christ occurred at the time of the Jewish feast of Passover (called "Pesach" in Hebrew).The Easter Festival in Kerala is divided into four distinctive time periods. This begins with Lent, which comprises of 40 days of fasting and preparation for the resurrection of the Christ. Then comes the second phase, which is the Holy Week and it includes the Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.On Holy Thursday, to celebrate the Lord's supper and the traditional washing of feet is carried out to stress the love for one another. At most Christian homes, the rite of the pashcal bread is carried out. After dinner, the 'cross cake' is brought out, cut into pieces and distributed among each member of the family.

During the Festival of Easter in Kerala, the next day is Good Friday, which is a day of sorrow and the churches remain empty. All the services are held in the afternoon and in most of the churches a pungent drink is served, which is made out of leaves and vinegar, along with other food items. However, by ten at night, the churches are full to observe the Easter Vigil. In the darkness, a new fire is lit and blessed. A candle is then consecrated and from it, many more candles are lit to indicate the resurrection. The church bells are rung, there is music in the air while the church and surrounding areas are lit. The next day, Sunday is a quiet day ends with a lavish dinner at homes and visit of relatives. The festival is celebrated with lot of fun and frolic and the Christians offer special prayer services. The date of Easter changes each year and several other Christian festivals fix their dates by reference to Easter. There are many symbols associated with Easter- such as eggs , rabbits, chicks and lilies.

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Easter has been a pagan festival that heralded the advent of the spring season after the desolate winter months. When the second-century Christian missionaries arrived in England, they used these pagan celebrations as a tool for converting the pagans to Christianity. Another record says that in a letter to Saint Mellitus, who was then on his way to England to conduct missionary work among the pagan Anglo-Saxons, Pope Gregory I suggested that converting the pagans would be easier, if they are allowed to retain the outward forms of their traditional pagan practices and traditions. He wanted to recast those traditions spiritually towards Christianity, instead of to their indigenous gods.

The Christian church, converted the Pagan festival from an observance of the advent of spring season to the one that is celebrated to commemorate the Resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ. The date for the festival of Easter was also changed by the Church, in 325 AD. Thereafter, the festival was observed not on the spring equinox, but on the very first Sunday following the full moon on or after the vernal equinox. Therefore, the festival is celebrated on the 22nd of March, every year, in some parts of the world. The date can be as late as 25th of April as well.

Since the pagan festival of 'Easter' occurred at the same time of year as the Christian observance of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the contours of the festival was altered to make it a Christian celebration. Because of its unmistakable pagan symbolism - Easter bunny, Eggs - fundamentalist Christian groups continue to reject the celebration of Easter, because they believe them to be irrevocably tainted with paganism and idolatry. In the present time, Easter festival symbolizes the rejuvenation, renewal, rebirth and restoration of all living beings on earth.

The dating of Easter today follows the same. Accordingly, churches in the West observe it on the first day of the full moon that occurs on or following the Spring equinox on March 21., it became a movable feast between March 21 and April 25.

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