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Religious celebrations

The origins of Easter and Passover

Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Christ at Easter, while Jews remember the liberation of the Israelites at Passover


The Jews created Passover to celebrate the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt about 3,250 years ago. Inspired by God, Moses led the exodus of a people who had been enslaved by the Egyptians for almost 400 years. For the Jews, Passover symbolizes the escape from slavery. For Christians, Easter also symbolizes escape, but from death to life. Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It can be said that for both Jews and Christians Easter means rebirth, liberation, or simply a new life.


Symbols: rabbits and eggs

Many centuries ago, most Europeans were pagans (people who believed in several gods).  The gods were associated with nature, such as the sun, or the seasons.  Every year, at the end of March, pagans celebrated the god Eostre (also known as Ostara), who represented fertility and spring.  The pagans saw the rabbit as a fertility symbol. Another symbol in this pagan ritual was the egg, symbolizing life, and people painted eggs in different colors. Over time Christianity began to spread around the world. Most European pagans began to convert to Christianity. Former pagans stopped celebrating spring and began to celebrate Easter (which was an event that occurred at the same time of the year). However, the Europeans carried with them some symbols that they used to use in pagan rituals, such as the egg and the rabbit. Chocolate eggs came later, at the beginning of the 20th Century.


Matéria publicada na edição de abril da Revista Maganews

Ilustração - Calberto

ÁUDIO - David Hatton



1 Passover – passagem (“pessach”, em hebraico) / Páscoa Judaica
2 Easter – Páscoa

3 Jews – judeus

4 exodus – êxodo / fuga (escape = fuga)

5 Moses – Moisés
6 enslaved - escravizado

7 rebirth - renascimento

8 spring – primavera

9 rabbit – coelho

10 over time – aqui = com o passar do tempo

11 to spread – se espalhar

12 to occur – acontecer / ocorrer