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The Passion, the resurrection – Part 1

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Easter is one of the most important and popular Christian holidays. It is observed to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, three days after he was tortured to death.

Easter falls on the last day of the Lent season, a long period of celebration that starts from Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras, the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, which means ‘Fat Tuesday,’ because it is the last day where you can eat everything before Lent and ends with Easter.

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One of the holiest festivals among Christians, Easter is celebrated across the globe with great fun and fervor. Special church services are organised across various countries over the entire Easter season. The holy occasion is welcomed with the same feelings, gusto and enthusiasm.

In the Western hemisphere, Easter fun doubles, as it not only commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from death but also welcomes the spring season, as it is said that flowers bring in goodness in the life of a person.

Most importantly, Easter symbolises the revival of life after death. According to the Scriptures, the tomb of Jesus was empty, three days after his crucifixion. Thus, Christians believe that they too can receive a new life after death.

A festival of joy and happiness, Easter celebrates Christ or the flowers and blossoms that come to life in spring, right after the dead and lifeless winter chills. On Easter, the gardens are filled with colourful, vibrant flowers and buds. While the grass forms a green carpet over the earth’s surface, colourful flowers form the intricate design over it.

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The flowers fill the entire atmosphere with sweet fragrance, adding charm and charisma to the festivity. Easter is a joyous holiday celebrated in the spring to honour the Resurrection of Christ.

Easter flowers are a central theme to the religious celebration but are also part of secular Easter festivities. The expression Easter derives from the old English word, EASTER or Eostre. Easter refers to the Anglo-Saxon goddess of dawn and spring, but under Christian influence, the modern English term, Easter, took over the present meaning; hence the word was borrowed as a sematic loan, which means only the word, but not its original meaning is borrowed.

Thus, a pagan festival was changed from a celebration of spring to a celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus by the Christian church, which means Jesus now owns the intellectual property rights on Easter.

Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday following the full moon that falls on or after the spring equinox on March 21 every year. Thus, Easter is celebrated on different dates every year that usually falls between March 22 and April 25. This festival denotes life, rejuvenation, reward, rebirth and restoration. Lots of flowers are associated with spring and Easter festivals.

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Religious symbolism some flowers have been given special meanings by Christians to help them celebrate Easter. While the gardens are filled with colourful vibrant flowers and buds generally, the colours of Easter are more pastel and passive than flowers used for other occasions.

Whether you wish to present traditional flowers that symbolise the death and Resurrection of Christ or simply want to brighten the holidays, understanding the symbolism and meaning associated with Easter flowers and colours would help you choose appropriate Easter flowers for any event.

There are several flowers thought to symbolise the Christian belief in the Resurrection of Christ.

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Palm Fronds And Olive Branches
Palm Sunday marks the start of what is often called ‘Passion Week,’ the final seven days of Jesus earthly ministry. Palm Sunday was the ‘beginning of the end’ of Jesus’ work on earth. As Jesus ascended towards Jerusalem, a large multitude gathered around him. They understood that Jesus was a messiah, so they gave him royal treatment.

The crowd’s action along the road gave rise to the name ‘Palm Sunday.’ A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from palm trees and spread them on the road, just as some waved the palm branches.

On Palm Sunday, palm fronds are symbolic floral items used to commemorate that first ‘Palm Sunday.’

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Easter Lilies
KNOWN for their purity and holiness, Lilies are one of the traditional flowers for Easter. They are often white and represent purity, goodness and hope, as such represents the Resurrection of Christ. These help Christians to remember that Jesus was pure and perfect when he died on the Cross.

It is believed by some lilies sprouted in the places where drops of blood fell down from Jesus. Another legend believes the first lilies appeared when Eve shed tears of repentance upon the earth during the crucifixion. Another legend proclaims that when visitors returned to Mary’s tomb after her death, all that was found was a bed of lilies, as she had been taken directly to heaven.

White lilies symbolise chastity and virtue. Much of the decorations for Easter revolve around the lily. Apart from the churches being decked with lilies, the flowers also find a prominent place in homes.

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Passion Flowers
THESE have been given lots of different meaning over the years. But they help Christian to remember Jesus dying on the Cross. The three stamens represent the three nail wounds of Jesus or the Trinity of God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit of the three crosses.

The circle of petals represents the crown of thorns that Jesus wore or as the flower has 10 petals, they can represent the disciples that did not deny or betray Christ. The leaves represent the spear that went into the sides of Jesus. The Passion Flower normally lasts for three days and represents the three days Jesus spent in the tomb.

Tulips
ALL tulips symbolise passion, belief and love, but white and purple tulips have special meaning. They represent forgiveness, while purple represents royalty, both important aspects of the Christian Easter celebration.

Red tulips symbolise the shedding of Jesus’ blood and unconditional love.

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Baby’s Breath
These delicate flowers represent the Holy Spirit.

Daisies
White daisies symbolise the innocence of the Christ child.

Hyacinth
These flowers represent peace of mind.

Irises
These flowers symbolise faith, wisdom and hope. The Greek word for rainbow is Iris representing the link between heaven and earth.

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Daffodils
The beautiful bright yellow daffodils (Narcissus) also signify great importance on Easter. The flower is a symbol of Jesus Resurrection from the dead, that is, a new flower is born from a seemingly dead bulb.

Azalea
ANOTHER popular flower associated with Easter, Azalea comes in colours of red, pink and even cream blooms. The flower is a Chinese symbol of womanhood and symbolises the thought ‘take care of yourself for me.’ Just like lilies and daffodils, azaleas to are considered to be an ancient symbol of Christ Resurrection, good tidings and rejuvenation.

Anthuriums
With their open, heart-shaped flowers and tropical disposition, it is no wonder that anthuriums have come to symbolise love and charity or hospitality.

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White symbolises purity, while pink and red represent passion and unconditional love.

Secular Easter Arrangement And Traditional Easter Flowers
BECAUSE Easter is celebrated in the spring in the Western Hemisphere, it is not uncommon to include a host of spring blooming flowers in a floral arrangement or bouquet to celebrate the holiday.

Daffodils
Sunny daffodils brighten Easter decor. When presented to a friend, that can represent unrequited love or friendship. Tulips

FOR non-religious floral arrangements, brightly coloured tulips represent the coming of spring.

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Red tulips symbolise true love, while yellow coloured tulips tell the lady that her eyes are beautiful. Tulips of any colour between married couples mean ‘our love is perfect.’

Hyacinths
In secular displays, the hyacinth’s meaning depends on its colour. Red hyacinth says, “Let’s play,” while white expresses that you think the recipient is lovely. A purple hyacinth asks for forgiveness.

Bird-of-Paradise
Bearing an unmistakable resemblance to a colourful bird in flight (to heaven), this represents joyfulness (and not surprising) and paradise itself.

Single petaled Roses
The five petals of old-fashioned wild roses represent the five wounds of Christ. Red roses represent the shed blood of Christ for forgiveness, while white roses symbolise his purity.

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Easter Cactus
These plants, known by their botanical name of Rhipsolidosis gaertneri, are similar in appearance to the more well-known Christmas cactus or schlumbergera, except that these bloom during the Easter season.

With segmented stem growth and gorgeously bright-coloured starry flowers, both types of holiday cactus can live for decades.

These plants are native to our rainforests and need bright light and mostly moist soil.

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Orchids
The dainty blooms of orchids are not as delicate as they appear. They would bloom for months and live for years with lite care.

At Easter, white ad pastel colour give them bright indirect light and water once a week,

Who Should You Send Easter Flowers To?
EASTER flowers are appropriate for mothers and grandmothers or other close relatives, but they can also be sent to your sweetheart to celebrate this special day.

They are suitable for groups, such as church social groups, co-workers or even staff of your child’s school or daycare centre, hospital wards and old peoples’ homes. If you are invited to an Easter dinner or to join in on Easter celebrations, sending or hand carrying flowers is a nice touch.

Lots of churches all over the world hold flower festivals and funfairs at Easter when the whole church is filled with displays of flowers. Some are made into scenes from the Easter story.

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