Palm Sunday is a Christian moveable feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter. Palm Sunday, the beginning of the Holy Week, recalls the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, with the people cheering and spreading palm branches on the path before him.
Easter is the spring feast of the Christian church, commemorating Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. According to the church calendar, it falls on a Sunday following the first full moon after March 21.
Many of the traditions and customs associated with Easter date back centuries, and some are associated with pre-Christian rituals and beliefs. The egg, for instance, was a fertility symbol long before the Christian era. Ancient Greeks, Chinese and Persians exchanged eggs at their spring festivals. In Christian times, the egg took on a new meaning, symbolizing the tomb from which Christ rose.
The word “Easter” comes from “Eostre” or “Eastre”, the name of a Teutonic goddess of dawn and spring. The worship of the goddess originated in Germany and was brought to England by the Saxons. Her name comes from the word “east”, where the sun rises. Every spring, northern European people celebrated the festival of Eostre to honor the awakening of new life in nature. Later Christians related the rising of the sun to the Resurrection of Christ and to their own spiritual rebirth.
Easter in Armenia
In Armenia on Easter Sunday, people greet each other with the following words: “Christ is risen from the dead!” – “Blessed is the resurrection of Christ”. The traditional Armenian Easter dish is pilaf with raisins and prunes, followed by fish and herbs symbolizing the coming spring. Colored eggs decorate the table. Many people paint eggs with juice or red onion leaves and with birch tree bark to symbolize the blood of Christ.