Difference Between Easter and Christmas

Easter and Christmas are both Christian festivals where Easter is the first festival and Christmas is the last festival of the year. Christmas is celebrated on November 25 every year by a huge number of people around the globe. However, it is also celebrated on January 7 by Orthodox Christians. Easter will be celebrated on April 17 in 2022 and its celebration date is calculated through Computus every year.

These festivals come in the winter and bring excitement with them. During this time, houses are decorated, goodies are baked, feasts are prepared, gifts are exchanged and most importantly families come together. Both festivals have religious values and importance attached to them which revolves around Jesus’s birth and resurrection.

Easter vs Christmas

The main difference between Easter and Christmas is that Easter is celebrated as a symbol of Jesus Christ’s resurrection after his crucifixion by the Romans while Christmas is celebrated as a day of his birth.

Easter vs Christmas

Easter is celebrated by the people because of the resurrection of Jesus after the crucifixion by the Romans. It is the prophecy of the Messiah which says that (Isaiah 53) “Who would be persecuted, die for our sins, and rise on the third day”. Easter is celebrated to remember the resurrection of Jesus, and it is also is a way to remember that there will always be victory over sin.

The Christmas word is obtained from another word “Cristes maesse” which also means the mass of Christ. It is said that Santa Claus gives gifts to everybody on this day and he is the Father of Christmas. This is an annual festival celebrated among Christians. The most common decoration used in Christmas is mistletoe, ivy, and holly. This time is considered as the festival season in many countries.

Comparison Table Between Easter and Christmas

Parameter of ComparisonEaster Christmas
Celebration DayFirst Sunday after the Paschal full moonEvery year Christmas is celebrated on November 25.
SignificanceEaster signifies Jesus’s win over death. Jesus’s resurrection means that those who followed him have been gifted eternal life. Christians celebrate it as a way of appreciating God’s love for our world through Jesus Christ’s birth.
Bible StoryEaster stories in the Bible will appear in different parts like the Judas’ Betrayal, the Crucifixion of Jesus, Last Supper and Jesus’ Resurrection.In the New Testament, Christmas stories can be read in Luke 1-2 Matthew 1-2.
FollowersChristians.Christians and non – Christians.
EventsEaster eggs hunting, Easter bunnies, and egg decorating are some of the non-religious Easter traditions.Christmas tree decoration, gift-giving, symbolic decorations, feasting, etc.

What is Easter?

Easter is celebrated as a resurrection day of Jesus Christ. Easter festival dates are based on the Church’s Lunar Calendar. Usually, on this day people gather and sign hymns that are dedicated to Easter. Some non-traditional festivals like Easter eggs and bunnies are also followed.

In Easter, there is a period of fasting which is called Lent, in which most of the churches set a period for remembrance and repentance. Lent starts on Ash Wednesday and it ends on Good Friday, (the day of the crucifixion of Jesus). The leading week up to Easter is known as “Passion Week” or “The Holy Week”. The week includes days like Maundy Thursday (this day is a remembrance of “The Last Supper” where Jesus has met his disciples to observe Passover), Palm Sunday (on this day Jesus came to Jerusalem), and the last one Good Friday (on this day Jesus would be certified on the cross).

Easter is the festival of the foundation of the Christian faith, therefore it is a very significant date within the Christians. This festival is closely related to Passover which is a Jewish festival.

What is Christmas?

Christmas is another festival in Christianity. By celebrating Christmas people celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, which is on 25 December according to the western church. On this date, Two Pagan festivals are also celebrated by honoring the sun and it could be somehow possible that December 25 was picked to check the impact of Paganism.

Different families celebrate Christmas differently. Families have different traditions but few things remain common in most of them and that is setting & decorating X-mas tree, buying each other presents and decorating houses. A traditional Christmas meal would include turkey with stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, vegetables, and pumpkin pie. The meaning of Christmas is Christ-Mass. At first, Christmas was celebrated not only for one day but for a whole season for centuries in some parts of the world but presently the celebrations start from Christmas Eve on the 24th of Dec only.

The date of celebrating Christmas is not selected randomly. It wasn’t until three and half centuries after the birth of Christ that the date December 25th was picked to celebrate Christ’s birthday. Pope Julius I was the one who picked the date for celebrating Christ’s birthday in 350AD and it was formalized in the era of the Roman Empire when the emperor Justinian declared civic holiday on the 25th of December in 529AD.

Main Differences Between Easter and Christmas

  1. Easter is the 1st festival of the year and it celebrates the resurrection of Jesus on the third day from the tomb after crucifixion while Christmas is the last festival of the year and it celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.
  2. Easter is also known as Pascha, Resurrection Sunday, or Zatik. Christmas is also known as X-mas, Noel and, Nativity.
  3. The Council of Nicaea decreed that Easter should be observed on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox in 325AD. And, Pope Julius I was the one who picked the date for celebrating Christ’s birthday in 350AD and it was formalized in the era of the Roman Empire when the emperor Justinian declared civic holiday on the 25th of December in 529AD.
  4. In Easter, there is a period of fasting which is called Lent, in which most of the churches set a period for remembrance and repentance. During Christmas, November 24 is celebrated as Christmas Eve and the next day after midnight, it is celebrated as Christmas Day.
  5. During the period of Christmas, people place Christmas trees in their houses and people dressed as Santa clause can be seen everywhere asking children about what present they want on Christmas eve. In Easter, the symbol of resurrection is egg. People attend church, gift each other Easter eggs & bunnies, play Easter eggs hunting, and much more.
  6. Easter food could include butter lamb, carrot cake, Easter bread, ham, side dishes, etc. Christmas food could include turkey, gingerbread cookies, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and much more.

Conclusion

Both the festivals are celebrated with great joy and tradition. However, the celebrations happening during Easter and Christmas are for different reasons which hold their own importance in the Christian society. Stories of Easter and Christmas are present in the Bible.

Christmas is a much more celebrated festival and we can’t see that much of a craze in people’s minds for Easter. Things like attending church, gifting, and feasting are common in both festivals.

References

  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/2086447
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/21674086.1944.11925560
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