Easter traditions in India

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Easter is one of the most significant festivals in the Christian calendar and marks the beginning of the spring season. The occasion is celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm throughout the world. The holiday commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. India is a land of cultural diversity; hence every festival is celebrated with great pomp and show. Although Christians constitute a meager 3% of the total population in India, the festive spirit of Easter is no less. Being multi-ethnic, the country respects and honors every religion and celebrates Easter with the same religious solemnization as any other festival. A spring time festival, the celebrations start with Lent and end with Easter Sunday.

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On Shrove Tuesday, simnel cakes and pancake cakes are prepared. Christians attend church services to admit their sins and ask for forgiveness. The root of Easter celebrations in India was laid during British rule and progressed much during the Portuguese and French possession. While the whole country basks in the glory of the festival, cities like Mumbai, Goa and the Northeastern states celebrate it in their own best way. On Easter afternoon, the priest narrates the sufferings that Jesus Christ underwent for the sake of humanity. The mass conducted in the Panjim church of Mary Immaculate Conception is attended by a large crowd. People even stand in the doorways and premises dressed in formal clothes with somber countenance. Though every church in Goa conducts the mass and procession, but this one in Panjim attracts the largest crowd.

Easter eggs and Easter bunnies form the major attractions during Easter. Hence, these elements are largely sold in stores and people exchange these items with one another as gifts. Chocolate cakes, flowers and colorful lanterns are also presented as gifts to people. Wonderful carnivals throng at the beach state of India, Goa, where various street plays, songs and dances are staged. This rejoicing and jubilation continues for a week or two. Good Friday has been declared as a public holiday by the Indian Government. Since its holiday time, it is common to watch people rush out to the getaway destinations to enjoy the extended weekend. The most popular holiday destinations, undoubtedly, include the exotic beaches of Goa, the striking backwaters of Kerala and marvelous architectural landmarks of Andhra Pradesh.