Monday, March 24, 2008

Why We Do Not Celebrate Easter - March 23, 2008

Easter is a celebration, of course, of the significant event in Christianity. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is God’s promise of the future of Christians. For the first thousand years of Christianity, this “holiday” was most celebrated.

Of course, Buddhists do not celebrate this event. This is what Rev. Nakano said this morning.

On the other hand, the term, “Easter,” is not from the Bible, it comes from a celebration, or festival that predates Christianity as the religion spread from its origins in the Middle East. Easter is a rite of Spting. People before Christianity celebrated this passage of time and it was an older version of “Easter” which was adopted by the Christian faith as their own.

As a rite of passage of time into Spring, some of the Easter traditions came from the festival, i.e., eggs and Easter hunt, etc. As Rev. Nakano also noted today, there are differences in interpretation, that she gave several examples of it.

Since the ancient peoples kept track of time by observing the astronomical phenomenon, the ancient Easter was probably celebrated during the Spring Equinox. The Christian Easter is calendared on a more complicated astronomical formula to recreate the annual observance of the “heavens” that are associated to the original event. Which is why the date of Easter differs from year to year.

An aside, the Jewish observance of Passover is also marked astronomically with the emphasis on the lunar cycle.

Another aside, one of the calendars that was observed had a miscalculation and observances of such holidays as we know today such as Christmas begain to fall in different season, so this was corrected with the calendar in use today. Calendars are so arbitrary.

Anyways, the Spring Equinox when the length of the day is equal to the length of the night is an astronomical measure of time based on the rotation of the earth around the Sun.

As Rev. Miura noted, Buddhist do celebrate this rite of passage of time with O-Higan which Rev. Nakano talked about last Sunday during the Higan observance at our temple.

Since the day and night are equal, it is a representation of good and evil as Buddhist believe. Rev. Kodani at Senshin Buddhist Church mentioned that evil must exist to prove good. So in an equilibrium…

Actually, in that case, we do celebrate Easter….

(corrections and comments are accepted...)

1 comment:

TyJustinandChris said...

Thank you very much for this insight!