There are lots of traditions associated with what’s best known in Australia as ‘the four-day Easter holiday’ but all of these traditions culminate in the message of Easter Sunday.
Easter Monday is just a bonus day 😉
Here’s a quick refresher on what’s observed as part of Easter and why:
- Also known as a ‘movable feast’, the Easter long weekend moves around the calendar because “according to the Bible, Jesus’ death and resurrection occurred around the time of the Jewish Passover, which was celebrated on the first full moon following the vernal equinox.” timeanddate.com
- Passover is “the annual meal celebrated by the Jewish people to mark their deliverance from Egypt. ‘Passover’ refers to the angel of death ‘passing over’ the homes whose doors were mark with the blood of the passover lambs,” 3 Minute Messages pastor Rory Shiner
- Shrove Tuesday is “an excuse to have pancakes for dinner. Also, a day set apart for preparation and self-examination prior to the fasting season of Lent. Nothings prepares you for fasting like gorging on pancakes,” 98five blogger Bec Oates
- Lent refers to “the 40 days (six weeks) before Easter beginning on Ash Wednesday. This is a ‘fast’ in the Christian calendar — a time of repentance and contemplation, which is often marked by giving something up (meat, wine, Facebook). Note that in the Christian calendar, Sundays are always a ‘feast’ day, so people break the ‘fast’ each Sunday,” 3 Minute Messages pastor Rory Shiner
- Ash Wednesday is “the beginning of Lent. Often marked by ‘the imposition of ashes’ — marking a person’s forehead with ashes to begin the fast. (The ashes are often produced by burning the previous year’s Palm Sunday branches),” 3 Minute Messages pastor Rory Shiner
- Holy Week is “the week from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. This week commemorates the week Jesus spent in Jerusalem before his crucifixion and resurrection. It’s key commemorations are Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday,” 3 Minute Messages pastor Rory Shiner
- Palm Sunday, “In the week before his resurrection, Jesus was led into Jerusalem on a donkey. The excited crowd spread cloaks and palm branches on the road, giving Jesus the royal treatment as he entered the holy city. As He passed by they shouted, “hosanna in the highest heaven, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” 98five blogger Yvette Cherry
- Maundy Thursday “marks the night before Jesus was crucified when he had his last supper with his disciples. The word ‘Maundy’ comes from the Latin for ‘a new commandment’ and refers to Jesus’ act of washing the disciples’ feet and saying, ‘A new commandment I give to you to love one another as I have loved you’. Many churches mark the evening with a foot-washing ceremony,” 3 Minute Messages pastor Rory Shiner
- Good Friday and Easter (Resurrection) Sunday, “an intertwined story of (the) life, death and resurrection (of Jesus Christ). Easter Sunday is meaningless without Good Friday, but Good Friday is equally as meaningless without Easter Sunday.” relevantmagazine.com. Jesus died on the cross to save us and rose again to defeat death.
- Easter eggs, “Chocolate Easter eggs were first made in Europe in the early 19th century. With the rise of Christianity in Western Europe, the church adapted pagan customs and the egg, as a symbol of new life, came to represent the resurrection. Some Christians regarded the egg as a symbol for the stone being rolled from the tomb,” 98five blogger Kat Eggleston summarised from Cadbury.com.au
- Hot cross buns “received their name because the spiced buns are always decorated with a cross on top of them. Historically this bread was only eaten at breakfast on Good Friday. However, these days supermarket and bakeries start to sell the buns quite early, sometimes since January. It’s recommended to heat up the buns before you eat them,” 98five blogger Inex Palit
Featured Easter events
Join people from around the city celebrating the true meaning of Easter. The parade begins at Stirling Gardens at 2pm and ends at Wesley Uniting Church at 4pm.
The Uniting Church in Perth City presents their free annual art exhibition — Stations of the Cross 2017
Curated by Claire Bushby, the exhibition will feature newly commissioned artworks by 15 Western Australian contemporary artists.
Visit 98five’s Sonshine Diary for all of the info.
Looking for a Good Friday or Easter Sunday service to head along to?
Everyone’s welcome to join 98five’s 3 Minute Messages pastors and teachers at their churches.
Click on the drop pins for service times, addresses, websites and contact numbers.
Find a church closer to you
Or maybe you would like to visit a church closer to you? Let our Find a Church map help. It lists hundreds of local churches.
More Easter resources
Wesley Mission’s Easter Sunday: Sunrise Service
Live from the Sydney Opera House, 4am WST/6am EST, hosted by Superintendent of Wesley Mission Reverend Keith Garner and performances by Golden Guitar winning Aussie duo Carter & Carter.
Or if you’re not that much of an early-bird, you can tune into Sonshine Digital from 6am WST for the replay.
If you’re having trouble viewing this live feed, visit wesleymission.org.au.