Spring, Texas, U.S.A.- Every Easter, I always look forward to the array of festivities that my family does to celebrate the risen Lord. When I was younger, my sister and I attended many church festivities followed by the Easter egg hunts and many pictures in bonnets with bunnies.
But as I got older, we switched to different activities, like painting eggs and having family parties with loved ones after the church service. Every Easter, we do something different, and to me, that is one of the many reasons I look forward to it every year.
Each year comes blessings and new milestones accomplished, so we like to do something different to honor the unique year. My family observes the different ways that Christians around the world celebrate Easter.
In the Philippines, where many of my family members are from, people celebrate Easter in a solemn way, centered around the church. Early in the morning, children will dress up in white flowing gowns and wings to signify as angels.
They will go to the town center where a designated child would take off the black veil worn by the Blessed Mother Mary, portraying the end of her sorrow because her son, the Lord Jesus, has resurrected and that it is time for celebration.
Families will have a celebratory brunch at their homes, complete with delicious pastries and delicacies.
In the neighboring country of Mexico, like the Philippines, there are many similarities in how Easter is celebrated. The celebrations start and end with church activities.
Like all Catholic Christians worldwide, it is a religious observance day, meaning a Christian’s duty is to attend a church service on Easter Sunday.
Akin to the Philippine Easter celebration, Mexican Christians participate in a Blessed Mother Mary procession together with Jesus, her resurrected son. The activities are centered around the church-led reenactments of the Biblical chronology of the suffering, crucifixion, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Like in the Philippines, Easter is the culmination of a week-long “Semana Santa,” or Holy Week. Throughout the week, especially towards the end, various elaborate processions and ceremonies are celebrated.
Regardless of geography, if a country is predominantly Roman Catholic Christian, there is a high likelihood that the festivities surrounding the Semana Santa or Holy Week will always involve the reenactments of the Biblical verses of the final chapter of the life of Jesus Christ and his resurrection.
With some minor variations, the essential purpose, meaning, and adoration ring the same throughout the world of Catholics celebrating on Easter Sunday.
Every year, when I learn about all the festivities and different religions that celebrate Easter, I am fascinated by the similarities and differences of how people in places so geographically distinct celebrate the same joy and excitement.
Greeting the memorable Easter holiday gives kids and adults alike a new day of hope and dreams of a bright tomorrow.
Katrina Machetta is a Reporter with Youth Journalism International.