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Like Christmas, Jesus is the reason for the season

This Sunday is a special day.

Easter has so much meaning.

It’s a religious holiday celebrated by Christians across the world and for many others, it is the true beginning of spring — a time of renewal and new growth when the days are, for the most part, warmer and the grass is green once again.

For children as well as many adults, Easter means sweet treats in the form of chocolate and other sugary treats that for years have been associated with the holiday, and Easter eggs, which have been part of the season since the 12th century, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, when the Lenten fast was ended on Easter with meals including eggs, ham, cheeses, bread and sweets blessed for the occasion.

The use of painted and decorated Easter eggs, according to Britannica, was first recorded in the 13th century.

The church prohibited eating eggs during Holy Week, but chickens continued to lay eggs, giving the notion of specially identifying those eggs as “Holy Week” eggs and decorating them.

The egg itself became a symbol of the Resurrection. Just as Jesus rose from the tomb, the egg symbolizes new life emerging from the eggshell. In the Orthodox tradition, eggs are painted red to symbolize the blood Jesus shed on the cross.

Easter egg hunts are popular events for families and whole communities, where children rush to find eggs — either hard-boiled eggs or plastic eggs filled with surprises — hidden in a yard or on a playground.  Everyone has their favorite Easter egg hunt story.

Easter egg hunts as a tradition go back a long way, and Downtown Vicksburg started its own tradition last Saturday with a well-attended Easter Egg hunt at Catfish Row that hopefully will become a city tradition for a long time.

But I digress from what I want to say in this column.

There is more to the Easter season than candy — including Gold Brick eggs — Easter egg hunts, family gatherings and a wonderful meal to celebrate the end of 40 days of fasting.

The celebration of Easter goes back to the early Christians who observed the holiday with reverence and prayer long before anyone dreamt of commercializing the day.

The observance of Holy Week allows Christians to recall the life of Christ and remember His suffering so they may better appreciate the sacrifice He gave on the cross and the joy of his resurrection. Easter Sunday will be celebrated in churches around the world with prayer and song to mark Jesus’ return to the living and people here will either attend services in person or online.

This is the time of year Christians revel in the renewal and growth of their faith as they remember there was someone willing to sacrifice their life so others could grow spiritually.

Sunday, as we celebrate Easter and enjoy what is forecast to be a warm, sunny day, remember this — like Christmas, Jesus is the reason for the season.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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