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An annual festival, which arose in Greco-Roman Christianity, observed throughout Christendom in commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. The name is a corruption of "Ishtar," pagan sun-goddess. The first Christians did not observe Easter, but rather the Christian Passover.

Celebration of Easter was not universal until the Council of Nicea and Constantine decided to make the celebration mandatory for all Greco-Roman Christians. The Council declared that Easter was to be kept the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox. It was Theodosius I, implementing the decisions of the First Council of Constantinople in CE 381, that ordered all Christians to observe the celebration or suffer the consequences. Today some groups, in an effort to distance the Christian aspects of the day from paganism, refer to Easter as Resurrection Sunday.

Page last edited: 02/01/06 09:22 PM

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