The Chris­tians in Kur­dis­tan Re­gion Cel­e­brate the Easter Sea­son

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - By Sabri Mag­daci

The Chris­tians in Kur­dis­tan re­gion of Iraq con­sider the Easter sea­son as the core of the Chris­tian faith. It is the ma­jor mov­able feast of the litur­gi­cal year. The Easter sea­son may fall on any Sun­day be­tween March 22nd and April 23rd. The Chris­tians de­fer to the Jewish prac­tice of us­ing moon phases to de­cide the tim­ing of the feast.

We find this great Chris­tian fes­ti­val as a con­junc­tion of the cy­cles of na­ture and the mythic cy­cle of the litur­gi­cal year. Be­cause of this, many of the sym­bols that we as­so­ciate with this feast, such as chicks, Easter eggs and rab­bits, are fer­til­ity sym­bols, rep­re­sent­ing the re­newal and pro­lif­er­a­tion of life in Spring. Prob­a­bly this is the rea­son why they call this feast “The Grand Feast” com­pared to the other feasts of the Chris­tian faith such as Christ­mas, Epiphany ….etc.

The Chris­tians in Kur­dis­tan con­sider the death and res­ur­rec­tion of Je­sus Christ as the cen­tral pivot of their lives; they use dif­fer­ent forms of greet­ings dur­ing the feast such as “Christ is risen” with the re­sponse “Truly is risen".

The Easter cel­e­bra­tion usu­ally in­cludes the drama of be­tray­ing Je­sus by “Ju­das”, one of the twelve dis­ci­ples. Then they go through the mean­ing of death and res­ur­rec­tion. So the Chris­tians cel­e­brate this joy as they cel­e­brate Je­sus’ Res­ur­rec­tion in this night when Je­sus Christ broke the chains of death by his heav­enly As­cen­sion. The Chris­tians take this feast as the great­est op­por­tu­nity to re­new their bap­tism vows be­cause bap­tism is con­sid­ered as the tomb. In other words, when the Chris­tians are bap­tized, they con­fess their sins and ask for for­give­ness to be­gin a new life with Je­sus. There­fore on this most blessed night they re­solve once more to leave their sins be­hind and live in the grace of Christ and re­new their bap­tism prom­ises dur­ing these ser­vices by hold­ing can­dles lit from the Paschal Can­dle which in turn was lit from the Easter fire that is a sym­bol of “Christ's rise from death”.

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