Easter Sunday in Lebanon
Easter Sunday, known as Al Had in Arabic, is a significant Christian holiday celebrated in Lebanon. This holy day commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ and is observed by both Catholic and Orthodox Christians in the country. Easter Sunday in Lebanon usually falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox. However, the date may vary between the Western and Eastern Churches due to differences in the Gregorian and Julian calendars.
Easter Sunday has been celebrated in Lebanon since the early days of Christianity in the region. Lebanon, being part of the historical and geographical region known as the Levant, has deep-rooted ties to the Christian faith. Christianity was introduced in Lebanon during the time of Jesus Christ and his apostles, particularly by Saint Peter and Saint Paul. The celebration of Easter in Lebanon has continued throughout the centuries, despite the various political and religious changes the country has experienced.
National customs for Easter Sunday in Lebanon
Easter Sunday in Lebanon is marked by several customs and traditions observed by both Catholic and Orthodox Christians. One of the most important traditions is attending a special church service on Easter morning, where the resurrection of Jesus Christ is celebrated through prayers, hymns, and scripture readings. After the service, families gather for a festive meal, which usually includes traditional Lebanese dishes such as kibbeh, stuffed grape leaves, and various mezze.
Another important custom is the preparation of Easter eggs. These are typically hard-boiled eggs that are dyed in various colors, with red being the most common color to symbolize the blood of Christ. The eggs are often used in a game called "egg-cracking" or "egg-tapping," where participants try to crack each other's eggs without breaking their own. The person who has the last intact egg is considered the winner and is believed to have good luck for the rest of the year.
Local customs for Easter Sunday in Lebanon
Local customs for Easter Sunday in Lebanon may vary depending on the region and the specific Christian denomination. In some areas, it is customary for people to visit the graves of their deceased loved ones on Easter Sunday to light candles and say prayers for their souls. In other regions, processions and parades are held in honor of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, with participants carrying religious icons and banners.
In some Lebanese villages, a unique Easter tradition called "zalghouta" is practiced. This involves groups of women gathering to perform a traditional ululation, which is a high-pitched trilling sound made with the tongue. This custom is performed to celebrate the joyous occasion of Easter and to express gratitude for the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Easter Sunday in Lebanon is a deeply rooted Christian tradition, celebrated with a range of customs and practices that reflect the country's rich cultural heritage. Both Catholic and Orthodox Christians in Lebanon come together to observe this significant holy day and to honor the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The various customs, from attending church services and sharing festive meals to dyeing Easter eggs and participating in traditional rituals, all contribute to making Easter Sunday a cherished and meaningful celebration for Lebanese Christians.