Easter is one of the most important times of the year for the christian community all around the world. During these days, the whole community gathers to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Hence all advocates and believers go to mass, to their respective churches or to their sacred places to commemorate this wonderful venture.
As time has passed by nevertheless, it seems like Easter has lost its true meaning. Many people have taken Easter as an excuse to travel somewhere or spend it on consumeristic concepts and they have forgotten on what we should focus on this day. It is true that perhaps time and globalization have made many religious holidays such as Christmas and Easter just other excuses to sell more and profit. Therefore we want to take this opportunity to reflect on what Easter really is, based from the Illa Perspective.
Easter throughout time:
We mentioned above that Easter represents Jesus’ victory over death. This triumph symbolizes all of the lives that were forgiven in exchange for his death. Apart from the forgiveness that is represented through his resurrection, it is also important to mention that his death was necessary in order to prove God’s existence. In Ecuador, just as in many countries around the world, Jesus’ death is seen as something extremely needed in order to show all believers and non believers that he indeed returned from the dead.
Easter however is not only something that has been celebrated since Jesus came into the world. On the other hand, it has been celebrated for even more ancient times than what we think. The original Easter celebration goes back to the pagan times. During these times, people celebrated renewal and rebirth. It was the Saxons, those who celebrated Easter in honour to their goddess called Eastre.
Finding common ground:
Regardless of the tag in history we can see two common things that were celebrated during these times: the action of arising from the death and being born again. Although this might sound indeed superficial and for many nowadays very religious, it is not. The truth is that, unfortunately, many people in this 21st century have decided to part ways from religion due to many reasons and although everyone is in the right to do so, there are many assumptions that people make that are sadly mistaken.
For instance, many people consider Easter as a religious holiday and hence all those who are not believers decide to not even think about Easter and just take it as another holiday. However we would like to show you very briefly how it is so much more than just “some days off work” and how meaningful it is regardless of your beliefs or religion.
As we mentioned before, there were two times in history were Easter was celebrated; one by the Saxons and one by our most recent ancestors. Both of them commemorated the same things: revival, rebirth and in other words: Resurrection.
What does this mean?
If we look at resurrection’s real definition, we will encounter that it is defined as awakening, reappearance, revival of something that was dead and has come to back to life. By reading carefully the last definition, we might notice just how beautiful it is. When something needs to come back from the death, from a dark and lonely place, it suggests that it needs to see the light again. That exactly is what Easter is, a time of the year where we all get to seek for that inner light in ourselves, in those who surround us and in our environment.
By looking at it from the Christian perspective, it is Easter in which we live once again all the suffering that Jesus had to go through. All of this pain and grief that he went to and that we very often forget about because it is simply something that we cannot picture ourselves doing now. That is why many believers and advocates in Ecuador decide to share this grief by fasting on certain days such as Good Friday. The act of fasting represents a little the suffering that Jesus went through. Apart from the fasting, there are other Ecuadorians, such as the Illa Family and probably many people around the world who decide to share their faith by fasting not only from meats but internally, and it is this type of fasting that changes people truly.
The internal fasting is the restriction from bad feelings, bad customs and lack of forgiveness. It is true that when you think about it, getting rid from all those emotional baggages is what really drags us down into that little dark place that traps us. Nevertheless, Jesus is alive and since he is alive in all of our hearts it is our mission in Easter to rise with him. This means that we will do our best to bring joy, forgiveness, optimism and love to all those who surround us.
Doesn’t it sound beautiful?
The Illa Family has always considered Easter as a beautiful time of the year to have all of our good virtues and qualities be brought back to life again because Easter is indeed an excuse to feel happy and to rise. For that reason we like to share all of our customs with our guests and with those who surround us. The moment that you enter Illa you will see that we try our best to have all our virtues alive because that is what we want to share with you; that Ecuador is a living country that has a strong faith and it is its faith that should not be forgotten because that is its “drive” to success. It doesn’t matter the type of religion or belief that you follow, Easter has only one purpose and it is to find our inner light and that is what we are trying to do little by little at Illa; to share that light with you.