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Easter

Easter is the most important Christian festival of the year. Easter celebrates the return to life of Jesus Christ, the founder of Christianity, after his Crucifixion. Jesus return to life is called Resurrection. The gospels tell that on the morning two days after Jesus death his tomb was found empty.

Most Christians observe Easter on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. Thus the festival can occur on any Sunday between march 22nd and April 25th.The Easter festival is closely associated with spring .the new plant life that appears in spring symbolizes the new life Christians gain because of Jesus Crucifixion and Resurrection. The word Easter may have come from an early English word Easter. Easter was considered a day of white because newly baptized church members wore white clothes at Easter observances.

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, when the churches have special services and include the blessing of ashes on the foreheads of worshipers. Easter Sunday celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus. Services begin on Saturday evening with Paschal vigil. Candles are burned during Easter celebrations especially the vigil and midnight services. The lights in each church are put out leaving everyone in darkness. The Easter egg tradition has of late caught up with Goans.Most of the Pastry shops sell them of different kinds and sizes some with and others without filling. The Goans rejoice on Easter Sunday and enjoy the day in the midst of the family. Many also wear new clothes which represent the new life offered through the death and Resurrection of Jesus. Wearing new clothes is considered to be a good omen by many.

A tradition followed in Goa is that of blessing of the houses by the priests with holy water every year after Easter. This ritual begins on Easter Sunday and continues till all the houses are blessed.

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