Holy Week

A timeline of Easter

This goes alllll the way back.

In the 8th Century BC, this is 800 years before Jesus was born, the Israeli Passover occurred. Jews at this time are being kept in slavery in Egypt. When Moses told Pharoah to Let My People Go and Pharoah refused, thus began the Ten Plagues of Egypt. The last plague, the Plague of the First Born…The Angel of Death ‘passed over’ all Jewish homes, and killed the first born son of every other household. Pharoah’s son died and Pharoah freed all the Jewish slaves. Passover became a Jewish high holy day and remains so to this day.

Around 30 AD, that is 30-some years after Jesus’ birth…church tradition says he died when he was 33…Jesus goes to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover.  While he is there he is arrested, unjustly accused of crimes, sentenced to death, is crucified, dead and buried. After three days he rises from the dead on what is the first Easter.


325 AD during the reign of Roman Emperor Constantine I, he calls the Council of Nicea, from which emerges the Nicean Creed and a date celebrating Easter that is the first Sunday after the Spring Equinox. This is why Easter changes from year to year. Celebrations of Easter before this time were always tied to Passover but this new degree separates the two, though they still occasionally align.

In the 13th Century a tradition of observing Lent begins to not eat eggs during the Lenten season. This begins the tradition of eating eggs on Easter Sunday with some festivity.

In the 18th Century, the tradition of the Easter Bunny arrives in America from Germany. Eggs, chicks, bunnies are all symbols of fertility and renewed life. Boiling and brightly decorating the eggs is part of the Easter celebration.


The 19th Century Easter celebrations include Easter egg hunts and Easter egg rolls for children.


In the mid-19th Century women dressed in elaborate hats and pretty spring dresses are asked to promenade down 5th Avenue in New York City after church services, beginning the tradition of the Easter Parade.


1885 This is the first year of the celebrated jewel-encrusted Faberge eggs. They are remembered as the extravagantly expensive Easter gifts given to the Russian Czars to their wives and mothers. And, at this point, could we POSSIBLY have removed any trace of Jesus’ sacrifice and his miraculous resurrection from the story of Easter?


In the 1930s jelly beans were added to Easter baskets.

In the 1970s Peeps were invented. There are 700 million Peeps produced each year and, of course, this little (blick) treat is now made in Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas shapes and various other atrocities. (I found Patriotic Peeps…Google helped me…for shame)

Mark 16:5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were amazed. 6 And he said to them, “Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen.”





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Author of Romantic Comedy...with Cowboys including the bestselling Kincaid Brides Series

15 thoughts on “Holy Week”

  1. Happy Easter! It saddens me that some people seem to have forgotten what Easter is all about. I asked the cashier at Walmart the other day if she had plans for Easter (wanting to invite her to out church) and she said not really and went on about having to get candy for her daughter’s Easter basket and taking her to meet the bunny. The idea came into my mind then about people who don’t share what the holiday is about with their children. If they are going to give Easter baskets filled with treats, I think a bible should be included in their basket as a reminder of what Easter is really about.

  2. Thank you, Mary. Your blog is very enlightening. Sad that we live in a very secular world.

    Easter Blessings.

  3. Happy Easter Mary, I remember going to Easter Egg hunts at our church when I was a child and I loved it so much!!!

  4. Hi Mary. Thank you for this time line. I find it interesting and distressing how far away we have come from the beginning.

  5. Thank you for the interesting timeline post. Like many other religious celebrations, Easter has been hijacked by commercial interests. It is up to us to make sure we don’t forget the reason for the season.
    I hope you and your family have a wonderful Easter weekend.

  6. Thank you, Mary, for the reminders of what Easter is really about. (I happen to be one of those people who likes Peeps although my children don’t.) I grew up in a community where we never had school on Good Friday and some years not on Maundy Thursday. My nieces and nephews still have Friday off. Sadly a lot of people today don’t know what Good Friday means, and Easter is just about candy and the Easter Bunny.

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