In addition, popular belief said that the eggs laid on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday had a disastrous and blessing effect.

The hare, in turn, appears in Egyptian mythology.

The egg is an ancient symbol of fertility, the origin of life, being and becoming. In addition, it has always been a payment in kind. As early as 5,000 BC. one ate brightly painted eggs for the spring festival. Until the 15th century, "" Easter eggs "" also meant an "" interest egg "" to be delivered by Easter. The chicken product has been used in today's sense since the 16th century. In addition, popular belief said that the eggs laid on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday had a disastrous and blessing effect. Decorated Easter eggs are first mentioned in 1615.

© iStockphoto.com

The Easter bunny is also considered a fertility symbol and appears in Egyptian mythology. The conception of the rabbit as an Easter "" egg-bringer "" was first documented in Germany in the 17th century. In Byzantium it is said to have been a symbol for Christ in the Middle Ages. Assuming that the rabbit slept with his eyes open, he was compared to the risen one who had not fallen asleep in death.

© Istockphoto.com/kzenon

The Easter fires, which are lit on the evening of Holy Saturday, symbolize Christ's resurrection on the one hand, and spring and the regained power of the sun on the other. This custom, like many in the Catholic Church, can be traced back to ancient pagan rites. Predecessors of the Easter fire are the spring fire of the Teutons. The highest Easter fire is lit in Tyrol on the 3,200 meter high Mittagskogel.

© Istockphoto.com/LianeM

The custom of the food blessing at Easter - incorrectly called meat consecration - is particularly cultivated in Austria, Bavaria and South Tyrol. It can be traced back to the 7th century. Meals such as meat and eggs, which were forbidden to be eaten in the strict medieval fasting regime, gained special significance and strength in popular belief through the Easter blessing. Today this custom can be used to build a bridge between the altar and the domestic table, between the sacred and the profane.

Traditionally, people gossip on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Because, according to tradition, the bells flew to Rome, the rattling sound of the wooden "ratchets" replaces the function of the bells at lunchtime and at vespers.

5. How much do Austrians eat at Easter?

Around 50 million colored eggs will be sold in stores around Easter. There are as many white and brown fresh eggs again in the two months before the highest Christian festival. After that, however, the Austrians have had enough: Sales fell by ten percent in the following two weeks.

Almost 230 tons of sheep and lamb are eaten in domestic households around Easter. In the month before and after it is only about a third.how to cancel 123helpme The peak for cooked ham, which is obviously particularly valued at Christmas and, in terms of sales, reaches its peak in December, is not quite as clear. The situation is different with smoked meat, which is almost 1,000 tons and is eaten around twice as often at Easter as in "" normal "" months.

How do Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter?

All Christians celebrate Easter on the first Sunday after the first full moon of spring on their respective calendar. Since for the Julian calendar spring does not start on March 20th or 21st, but 13 days later than in the Gregorian calendar and, according to Orthodox tradition, Easter never begins in March and never before the Jewish festival of Passover (this year on the 11th and 12th April) is celebrated, Easter Sunday rarely falls on the same day in both churches - this is the case this year.

In Greece or Cyprus, masses are celebrated in all churches throughout Easter week, which last several hours. The last days of Jesus' life from Palm Sunday to the crucifixion and the resurrection are depicted. On Maundy Thursday, one of the longest masses of the Orthodox Church is celebrated, lasting almost four hours. All lights are extinguished and a large cross is carried through the church in absolute silence. Visitors from other countries often describe this as "" depressing "" and sometimes "" terrifying "". A procession through the streets follows on Good Friday. Even worldly oriented people go to church at Easter time. The holidays are spent with the family.

Millions of Greeks flock back to their places of birth on these days to spend Easter there. There is fasting, stricter from day to day. Believers fast 40 days before Easter. The majority, however, limit themselves to Holy Week, which in Greece is called "" Big Week "".

No meat is eaten on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before Easter. Even non-religious people adhere to this by tradition. From Maundy Thursday, no more oil is consumed. On Good Friday, everything that has to do with enjoyment and pleasure is dispensed with. On Saturday at midnight the priests announce the redemption: "" Christ is risen. "" "" He is truly risen "", reply the believers. There is also a big fireworks display. Huge bonfires are also lit in Cyprus. Easter Sunday is celebrated: Lamb is eaten on a spit and red wine is drunk. The feast continues with dishes that are not to everyone's taste, including the "" Kokoretsi "", which is made from lambs' offal and intestines. Or the "" Mageiritsa "", an offal and egg soup that often smells strange to strangers' noses. Every stranger who comes by is invited. Tradition has it that nobody is allowed to be alone on this day of the year.

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Numerous people around the world celebrate Easter every year. The Christian Easter festival arises from an ancient tradition. But where do the traditions come from? And why does the Pope donate the "" Urbi et Orbi "" blessing every Easter? Answers to the most important questions about Easter holidays.

1. What does the "" Urbi et Orbi "" blessing mean?

As head of the Roman Catholic Church, the Pope grants the "" Urbi et Orbi "" blessing on Easter Sunday every year. Literally translated, this means "the city and the globe", whereby the word city refers to ancient Rome, which was once considered the center of the world. At that time, a sense of empire developed among the rulers, which equated the city of Rome (urbs) with the globe (orbis).

© REUTERS / Alessandro Bianchi

Officially, the church has known the blessing since the 13th century. Today the blessing is given at Christmas and Easter and after an election of the Pope. It must be donated by the Pope as Bishop of Rome and as head of the universal Church himself. With papal permission, cardinals, bishops, or priests can also give the blessing. The ceremony on St. Peter's Square is connected with a relief of sins for all people who follow the blessing in a believing attitude directly in Rome but also on the radio or on television. This is another reason why the blessing is very popular.

2. What is celebrated on which public holiday?

Palm Sunday is the sixth and last Sunday of Lent and heralds the so-called Holy Week. As the end of Lent, it is not only a time of reflection, but also of customs - just like Easter itself.

On Maundy Thursday (from Old High German "" Greinen "" for "" Weeping "") the Church commemorates the Last Supper with Jesus and the twelve apostles, when Jesus washed his disciples' feet as a sign of humility and love. This year Pope Francis is celebrating the traditional washing of feet on Maundy Thursday in the penal institution of Paliano, south of Rome. Traditionally on Maundy Thursday - and also on Good Friday - meat is not consumed.

On Good Friday ("" Kar "" or Old High German "" kara "" means "" lament "" and "grief") Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

© APA / Schlager

In the Christian faith, Holy Saturday is the day of the rest of the grave of Jesus Christ after he was removed from the cross on Good Friday and buried in the empty tomb of Joseph of Arimathea.

On Easter Sunday, firecrackers announce: "" Christ has risen! "" The resurrection of Jesus is celebrated. After the Easter mass, many communities organize a joint search for the Easter eggs.

3. Where does Easter originate?

Easter is not only the highest festival of the Christian churches, it is also an old custom. The date depends on the beginning of spring and the full moon. Since the Council of Nicea (325), Easter has been celebrated on the first Sunday after the spring full moon. This year, Easter Sunday falls on April 1st.

There are various interpretations of the origin of the German word "Easter". The opinion that it is derived from an English spring goddess named Ostara is doubted by many researchers because it is highly questionable whether such a goddess was worshiped at all.

Other researchers attribute "" Easter "" to the east (rising of the sun) or to the Middle High German "" Urständ "" (resurrection). More recent interpretations derive the name from the Christian "" hebdomada in albis "" (week in white clothes). The "" in albis "" was viewed as the plural of "" alba "" (Latin Dawn) and translated with the Old High German "" eostarun "". In this attempt at explanation, too, the idea of ​​Christ as the sun rising in the east is in the background.

4. Where do Easter bunnies, Easter eggs and Co. come from?

Many customs have been associated with the Christian festival of Easter for centuries. Some of them are of pagan origin. The gift of colored eggs can be traced back to the "" old Chinese "". The hare, in turn, appears in Egyptian mythology.

The egg is an ancient symbol of fertility, the origin of life, being and becoming. In addition, it has always been a payment in kind. As early as 5,000 BC. one ate brightly painted eggs for the spring festival. Until the 15th century, "" Easter eggs "" also meant an "" interest egg "" to be delivered by Easter. The chicken product has been used in today's sense since the 16th century. In addition, popular belief said that the eggs laid on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday had a disastrous and blessing effect. Decorated Easter eggs are first mentioned in 1615.

© iStockphoto.com

The Easter bunny is also considered a fertility symbol and appears in Egyptian mythology. The conception of the rabbit as an Easter "" egg-bringer "" was first documented in Germany in the 17th century. In Byzantium it is said to have been a symbol for Christ in the Middle Ages. Assuming that the rabbit slept with his eyes open, he was compared to the risen one who had not fallen asleep in death.

© Istockphoto.com/kzenon

The Easter fires, which are lit on the evening of Holy Saturday, symbolize Christ's resurrection on the one hand, and spring and the regained power of the sun on the other. This custom, like many in the Catholic Church, can be traced back to ancient pagan rites. Predecessors of the Easter fire are the spring fire of the Teutons. The highest Easter fire is lit in Tyrol on the 3,200 meter high Mittagskogel.

© Istockphoto.com/LianeM

The custom of the food blessing at Easter - incorrectly called meat consecration - is particularly cultivated in Austria, Bavaria and South Tyrol. It can be traced back to the 7th century. Meals such as meat and eggs, which were forbidden to be eaten in the strict medieval fasting regime, gained special significance and strength in popular belief through the Easter blessing. Today this custom can be used to build a bridge between the altar and the domestic table, between the sacred and the profane.

Traditionally, people gossip on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Because, according to tradition, the bells flew to Rome, the rattling sound of the wooden "ratchets" replaces the function of the bells at lunchtime and at vespers.

5. How much do Austrians eat at Easter?

Around 50 million colored eggs will be sold in stores around Easter. There are as many white and brown fresh eggs again in the two months before the highest Christian festival. After that, however, the Austrians have had enough: Sales fell by ten percent in the following two weeks.

Almost 230 tons of sheep and lamb are eaten in domestic households around Easter. In the month before and after it is only about a third. The peak for cooked ham, which is obviously particularly valued at Christmas and, in terms of sales, reaches its peak in December, is not quite as clear. The situation is different with smoked meat, which is almost 1,000 tons and is eaten around twice as often at Easter as in "" normal "" months.

How do Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter?

All Christians celebrate Easter on the first Sunday after the first full moon of spring on their respective calendar. Since for the Julian calendar spring does not start on March 20th or 21st, but 13 days later than in the Gregorian calendar and, according to Orthodox tradition, Easter never begins in March and never before the Jewish festival of Passover (this year on the 11th and 12th April) is celebrated, Easter Sunday rarely falls on the same day in both churches - this is the case this year.

In Greece or Cyprus, masses are celebrated in all churches throughout Easter week, which last several hours. The last days of Jesus' life from Palm Sunday to the crucifixion and the resurrection are depicted. On Maundy Thursday, one of the longest masses of the Orthodox Church is celebrated, lasting almost four hours. All lights are extinguished and a large cross is carried through the church in absolute silence. Visitors from other countries often describe this as "" depressing "" and sometimes "" terrifying "". A procession through the streets follows on Good Friday. Even worldly oriented people go to church at Easter time. The holidays are spent with the family.

Millions of Greeks flock back to their places of birth on these days to spend Easter there. There is fasting, stricter from day to day. Believers fast 40 days before Easter. The majority, however, limit themselves to Holy Week, which in Greece is called "" Big Week "".

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