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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Easter Sunday

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Easter Sunday, April 12th 2009

Easter, the principal festival of the Christian church year, celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his Crucifixion. The origins of Easter date to the beginnings of Christianity, and it is probably the oldest Christian observance after the Sabbath (observed on Saturday). Later, the Sabbath subsequently came to be regarded as the weekly celebration of the Resurrection.Many of the cultural historians find, in the celebration of Easter, a convergence of the three traditions - Pagan, Hebrew and Christian.But it is pointed out by some that the Easter festival, as celebrated today, is related with the Hebrew tradition, the Jewish Passover. This is being celebrated during Nisan, the first month of the Hebrew lunar year. The Jewish Passover under Moses commemorates Israel's deliverance from about 300 years of bondage in Egypt.The Feast of Easter was well established by the second century. But there had been dispute over the exact date of the Easter observance between the Eastern and Western Churches. The East wanted to have it on a weekday because early Christians observed Passover every year on the 14th of Nisan, the month based on the lunar calendar. But, the West wanted that Easter should always be a Sunday regardless of the date.To solve this problem the emperor Constantine called the Council of Nicaea in 325. The question of the date of Easter was one of its main concerns. The council decided that Easter should fall on Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox. But fixing up the date of the Equinox was still a problem. The Alexandrians, noted for their rich knowledge in astronomical calculations were given the task. And March 21 was made out to be the perfect date for spring equinox.The dating of Easter today follows the same. Accordingly, churches in the West observe it on the first day of the full moon that occurs on or following the Spring equinox on March 21., it became a movable feast between March 21 and April 25.Still some churches in the East observe Easter according to the date of the Passover festival.The preparation takes off as early as on the Ash Wednesday from which the period of penitence in the Lent begins. The Lent and the Holy week end on the Easter Sunday, the day of resurrection.

Here are some special Boston restaurants to celebrate the Easter holiday!

MEIL BRASSERIE PROVENCALE BOSTON at the INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL, 510 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, 617 747 1000. The Easter Brunch is served 11AM – 1PM,
$57 per person, children 12 or under, $25 per person.
Brunch includes a salad station, raw bar, carving station (lamb & prime rib), hot station (vegetable, artic char) omelets, crepe station, desert station.

TAJ HOTEL, 15 Arlington, Street, Boston 617 598 5255 for restaurant reservations.
Easter Buffet on the Roof, 17th Floor, Easter Bunny, Seatings at 11AM and 2:30PM.
Adults $88, Children 4-12yrs, $44. Includes Shirley Temple or soda for toasting.
Buffet includes appetizers, Indian cuisine, Mediterranean Charcuterie and salads, sushi presentations, egg-travagent breakfast selections, pan-seared salmon, chicken breast, scallop with risotto, carving stations with lamb and prime rib and artistic dessert fantasy buffet.

FAIRMONT COPLEY PLAZA HOTEL, Oak Room, 138 St. James Avenue, Boston 617 267 5300.
Easter Buffet, $45 Adults, $20 children (6-12), children 5 and under free.
11AM to 2PM, reservations required. Buffet includes honey glazed ham, three pepper crusted rib eye of beef, seared crab cakes, truffle rubbed organic chicken breast all with spring vegetables and light horseradish whipped potatoes, eggs, Kobe burger, New York Strip Steak and a dessert buffet.

Happy Easter!

C. Paul Luongo is President
Relations and Marketing, Boston