THE EASTER HOLIDAY - TIME OF NEW BEGINNINGS!

THE EASTER HOLIDAY (See Glossary at the bottom for definitions of the words in bold)
Every year, in the spring time, people celebrate the Easter Holiday across major parts of the world. This is the MOST important event in the Judeo-Christian calendar. This year, 2020, Easter day falls on April 12th, but the date is not a fixed one. It changes from year to year. Why? Because it coincides with the day of the vernal equinox - a time in the year when the sun is exactly over the equator - in the northern hemisphere. This is known as the beginning of the spring.
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BACKGROUND TO THE EASTER STORY
Easter is the celebration of the coming of spring. This tradition of welcoming in the new season is found in many cultures around the world; for example, in the Nowruz festival of Iran, which is very ancient, where spring marks the start of the new year. But with Easter, we have to go way back to the times before Christianity to the era of the pagans: people who practise paganism. In ancient Europe people worshipped a goddess named Eostre, or Ostara, who they believed was responsible for the new spring each year, or, for the rebirth. To pay respect to their deity, they believed, would guarantee that their harvest would be full and life would continue happily.
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EASTER, REBIRTH AND THE CHRISTIAN STORY
You probably know Easter as a Christian festival. And it is true that Christians celebrate this holy day. It has huge significance for them as it is the dead that Jesus Christ is supposed to have risen from the dead, an event we call the resurrection; the rebirth of Christ. Whereas pagans saw Easter as the rebirth of life in the trees and flowers and in the crops that came out in their fields, Christians believe it was the rebirth of their prophet. And not just a symbolic one; it is for them not just a story or myth but a literal truth: a miracle.
The Christian religion is made up of different denominations, including the Roman Catholic Church, The Protestant Church and The Orthodox Church. In the Roman Catholic Church, people will read passages from the Bible in the weeks leading up to Easter day, and on the day there is a special service in church called mass.Candles are lit because they represent Jesus bringing the world out of darkness and into the light. In the Orthodox Church there are even people who fast for 40 days in the days leading up to the day, as Jesus did in a story recorded in the Bible. In addition, Easter is not on the same day as in the Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches - it falls later in the month, April 28th this year. This is because in the distance past there was a separation in the Christian religion, so that the Orthodox Church started to follow a different calendar to the one used by the Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches. Across the world, from Greece, to the Philippines, to America, the churches are full and the rituals continue.
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EASTER FOR THE CHILDREN, AND FOR EVERYBODY
It isn't just in the churches that people celebrate Easter, and not only Christians; anyone can join in the festivities! Tell any child growing up in England or Germany; for example, and you will see the excitement in their faces when you say that Easter is coming! Eggs and bunny rabbits are well-known symbols of this time when the flowers come out in all their colours and all the new-born babies begin to break out from their eggs; the world comes alive again. Mums and dads and school teachers get together with the children and paint eggs with pretty patterns and colours, and plan treasure hunts to go and find them in hidden places, and families buy chocolate eggs for their children, who wake up on Easter day full of joy about the treats they know are coming!
So, next Easter, send a message to a friend and wish them Happy Easter....attend a church service, light a candle and sit and experience the mass service, or even join a local treasure hunt for fun with friends. After all, we all love the spring.
GLOSSARY:
(v) verb / (n) noun / (adj) adjective
coincide (v) to happen at the same time/date as another event
equator (n) the line that runs horizontally across the middle of the planet, showing where the north half meets the south half.
hemisphere (n) the name for each half of the planet
ancient (adj) very, very old; for very old times
worship (v) to show respect and thanks to a god/gods through prayer.
pagan (n) a person who believes in and worships several gods, generally in ancient times.
paganism (n) the name for the practice of belief and worship of several gods.
goddess (n) a female god.
rebirth (n) the act of something or someone coming to life again after death or as part of a cycle.
deity (n) a general word to describe a god
crops (n) food grown on the land for human use.
harvest (n) the collecting of food grown on the land.
prophet (n) a messenger from God.
miracle (n) an extraordinary event that cannot be explained.
literal (adj) something understood as real and not just symbolic.
denomination (n) one branch of a major religion that is separate and different from others.
fast (v) to go without food and water for a specific time period, for health, or religious or spiritual reasons.
April 28, 2020
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James Carney

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Hi! I am a native English speaker, born in London. I hold a degree in English Language Teaching, and hold 10 years experience teaching to foreign learners of English. I live in Istanbul, Turkey with my wife and baby son, Demir Robert. I love teaching, and I love meeting new people. In my time teaching, I have worked with teens and adults in one-to-one tutoring and group/class English lessons in conversational English, preparation for the official IETLS test, and with university ESL students helping them to become ready to enter departments where instruction is 100% English. To date, I have about 5 years experience delivering private lessons both face to face and through internet platforms like italki.com. I have many passions  . I love cooking different world cuisines like Chinese, Italian and Indian foods . I like outdoor sports like skateboarding and sea swimming . I love to talk about and share my ideas about books, great films and shows as well as philosophy and science. And I love everything about languages! –I always make my students bring their passions and interests into our lessons together . I am self-taught and fluent in Turkish. I believe that grammar and vocabulary are important, but most of the time I like to give this as homework to study in my student’s own time. This way, in every lesson it’s maximum speaking – you will speak for 70% of our time. Every lesson will have a theme and topic from your life, your study, your career and your life passions. I use a variety of online tools to keep it fun and engaging, and find the ways that you learn best, and I have a whole store of materials to share with you for assessment, and practice in listening, reading, writing and speaking.
Flag
English
globe
United Kingdom
time
19
Speaks:
English
Native
,
Turkish
C1
Hi! I am a native English speaker, born in London. I hold a degree in English Language Teaching, and hold 10 years experience teaching to foreign learners of English. I live in Istanbul, Turkey with my wife and baby son, Demir Robert. I love teaching, and I love meeting new people. In my time teaching, I have worked with teens and adults in one-to-one tutoring and group/class English lessons in conversational English, preparation for the official IETLS test, and with university ESL students helping them to become ready to enter departments where instruction is 100% English. To date, I have about 5 years experience delivering private lessons both face to face and through internet platforms like italki.com. I have many passions  . I love cooking different world cuisines like Chinese, Italian and Indian foods . I like outdoor sports like skateboarding and sea swimming . I love to talk about and share my ideas about books, great films and shows as well as philosophy and science. And I love everything about languages! –I always make my students bring their passions and interests into our lessons together . I am self-taught and fluent in Turkish. I believe that grammar and vocabulary are important, but most of the time I like to give this as homework to study in my student’s own time. This way, in every lesson it’s maximum speaking – you will speak for 70% of our time. Every lesson will have a theme and topic from your life, your study, your career and your life passions. I use a variety of online tools to keep it fun and engaging, and find the ways that you learn best, and I have a whole store of materials to share with you for assessment, and practice in listening, reading, writing and speaking.