A snapshot of Easter celebrations in IndiaApr 21, 2019
India is a diverse country where people of all religions, regions and communities co-exist. The diversity is one of the most beautiful parts of living in India. It means that all kinds of festivals and all religions are celebrated and revered by the people of the country. Although Christians are a minority group in India, Christian festivals are celebrated with a lot of fanfare in India. Christianity is celebrated and seen with great regard in our country. As Easter draws close, let us get to know more about why and how the festival is celebrated.
The story behind Easter celebrations
Easter or Resurrection Sunday is celebrated as a day to the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. This is described in the New Testament and is said to have occurred on the third day after Jesus was buried following his crucifixion.
The day that Jesus was crucified is mourned by Christians on Good Friday. The Sunday following this is celebrated as Easter.
Good Friday marks the completion of the 40 days of Lent where Christians observe a fast in honour of Jesus. This is in remembrance of the 40 day fast that Jesus kept when he withdrew into the desert. It is said that Jesus resisted all the temptations of Satan in these 40 days and successfully kept his fast. After this, he is said to have begun his public ministry.
Lent is kept by Christians in different ways. Many of them abstain from certain groups of food altogether while some abstain from ‘luxury’ food that they usually enjoy. Some Christians also fast only on specific days during Lent. This forms a major part of Eastern celebrations because that is the day that joy is celebrated with a rich feast.
How is it celebrated?
Good Friday marks the arrival of Easter festivities as Lent is completed and the joy of the rise of Christ begins. After fasting or eating modestly for 40 days, Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus with local Easter food, prayers and get-togethers. Many churches start Easter celebrations at midnight. The Easter egg is an integral part of Easter celebrations in India as it is in most of the other countries. It is said that the egg is the symbol of new life and rebirth and hence symbolises the rise of Christ. It is also said that empty Easter eggs symbolise the empty coffin.
Many events are fashioned around the Easter eggs and Easter bunnies that are made of chocolate. Special cakes are prepared on Shrove Tuesday when people go to church to attend the service and ask forgiveness for their sins.
Cakes, flowers, lanterns and chocolates are a major part of Easter celebrations in India.
Best places to celebrate Easter in India
The beauty of celebrations in India is that it is not restricted to Christians alone. People of other religions also join their Christian friends and neighbours and enjoy the fun and festivities. They often share the special feast and spend quality time with near and dear ones.
Eastern carnivals in Goa are quite famous for the elaborate celebration and the parties. Music and dance are a big part of celebrations and of course amazing food is always a part of these celebrations. The celebrations extend for a week or two. Good Friday and Easter are declared holidays in India and hence many people utilize the long weekend to spend time with family and celebrate with getaways from the cities. Easter and Good Friday are celebrated with aplomb mainly in Kerala, Goa, coastal Andhra Pradesh, the eastern states and in parts of Tamil Nadu.