21st April is just not an ordinary Sunday; it’s Easter Sunday, signifying the end of 40 days of period of fasting and penitence, the Lent.
As the folklore goes, Romans sentenced to death and crucified Jesus on Good Friday and this day of crucifixion of Jesus is a solemn day observed by fasting and praying. However, Easter heralds resurrection of Jesus, proving beyond doubt that he indeed was the son of God and is, therefore, a day of high religious significance and traditional celebrations in Christian faith.
The period of fasting and penitence begins with Ash Wednesday and lasts for 40 days. The Sunday immediately prior to Easter is Palm Sunday, commemorating arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem where his followers laid down palm leaves on the road to greet him. The last week of Great Lent is in fact known as Palm Week and it ends with Lazarus Saturday, the day before Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday marks the beginning of the Holy Week, which ends on Easter. Easter eggs and Easter bunny are some of the traditions that are associated with Easter.
Like all mythologies, Christian history also makes up for interesting reading and evokes deep sentiments amongst the followers of this great religion. All four gospels in New Testament- Mathew, Mark, Luke and John- state that those who believe in Jesus’ death and resurrection are given ” the gift of eternal life”, meaning that those of faith will be welcomed into the “Kingdom of Heaven” upon their earthly death.
Doesn’t all the above sound similar to fasting during the holy periods of Navratri by Hindus and Ramadan by Muslims? Don’t all the faiths promise Swarg and Jannat, the equivalent of Christians’ heaven to the virtuous followers of the faith? Don’t all religions preach peace, brotherhood and love to their followers? The objective and end goal are the same – only the path thereto and rituals associated with the festivals are different! Let’s respect all religions and their followers, because India can only have this uniqueness to let all faiths flourish in her land!
Happy Easter to all my readers and friends! As I read outside a Church – ” While generally we always say – Thank God it’s Friday (TGIF), on Easter we thank the God for Sunday”.