Sunday, 28 June 2015

Terrorism

June 26, 2015
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement on terrorist attacks that occurred in France, Kuwait and Tunisia:

“I was both saddened and angered today to learn of the heinous terrorist attacks that occurred in France, Kuwait and Tunisia that claimed the lives of many, and injured others.   On behalf of all Canadians, Laureen and I offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of those lost today and a speedy recovery to those injured.   Canadian agencies have reached out and offered French authorities our full support as they bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice.   We mourn today with France and stand behind our close friend on this dark day.”

Canada also strongly condemns the unfolding terrorist attacks in Kuwait and Tunisia that have killed and injured many.   Our hearts and prayers are with the families and friends of all victims.   The international jihadist movement has declared war on Canada, and the shared values of freedom, democracy and human dignity.   Canada will not sit on the sidelines as this global terrorist group unleashes senseless violence on innocent civilians from Europe to the Middle East.    We will continue to protect Canadians, support the international coalition to degrade the jihadist threat, and stand shoulder to shoulder with our allies in defiance of this evil.”

*       *       *       *       *       *       *

Background:  ISIS is an Islamic entity, which uses terrorism as the primary basis for control, as it enforces Shari'a.   From the early years of Islam, numerous governments have been founded as "Islamic."   However, the term "Islamic state" has taken on a specific present connotation in the news.   The recent emergence of the Islamic state has been spread by radical ideologues such as Abul A'la Maududi, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Israr Ahmed, and Sayyid Qutb.   Like the older notion of the Caliphate, the present Islamic state is based on Islamic law and clearly follows the example of Muhammad.  

However, unlike old Caliph-led governments which were despotisms, a modern Islamic state incorporates false political institutions, such as rigged elections, synthetic parliamentary rule, religious judiciary, and sovereignty control though the use of secret police, torture and frequent public hangings.   Today, Muslim countries have incorporated Islamic law, wholly or in part, into their legal systems.   Human Rights do not exist under these governments, as they collectively renounced the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights and international law.  

These 50 or more countries substituted their own international declaration that imposes the authority of Shari'a.   The Cairo Declaration was adopted in Cairo Egypt in 1990, which affirms Islamic Shari'a as its sole source of law.   In short, the declaration says: -ARTICLE 24: All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari’ah.   ARTICLE 25: The Islamic Shari’ah is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification of any of the articles of this Declaration.   Consequently, the people in these countries suffer, as they have no Christian cultural ethic of equality, fairness, brotherly love, or forgiveness, as those notions are opposite to Shari'a.

What started out as a relatively obscure faction of al-Qaeda, ISIS has quickly become a ruthlessly brutal terrorist movement gaining ground and recruiting fighters at disturbingly fast speeds.   With their cold-blooded mass executions plaguing Western headlines, little has been published to address the question "why?".   With recent attacks on Western soil, it is important to understand the gravity and seriousness that drives the worst terrorist group known, which could perhaps offer powerful insight into how they can be stopped.

ISIS is a religious group consisting of Muslims involved in the Sunni Islamic Movement.   This terrorist group is currently being referred to by a variety of names but all thrive under the same agenda and belief system: Islamic State (IS), Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL).   It is speculated that the birth of ISIS began around 2006 when a group of al-Qaeda members developed ideological differences in their overall strategy and doctrine, particularly relevant to the violent enforcement of Sharia Law.   New leadership formed a split amongst the group propagating Sharia Law and thus the beginnings of the Islamic State.   An important fact about ISIS is that they demand to be known as a State, and they currently hold a huge territory in Syria and a good portion of Iraq—declaring it a "Caliphate" in June of 2014 after seizing control over Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq.

ISIS now controls an area larger than the United Kingdom.   A Caliphate is an Islamic state where Sharia Law is strictly enforced and led by a single supreme religious and political leader called a caliph.   Sharia Law is based on certain teachings of the Qur’an and requires all people under the jurisdiction to abide by these laws, which include: flogging, stoning, hanging, beheading, crucifixion, amputation, and other types of violent punishments.

Following the declaration of the Caliphate, followers named Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as its "caliph".  It is believed that Baghdadi holds a doctorate in Islamic studies from a university in Baghdad and is an experienced Iraqi fighter, who took control when the original leader of ISIS, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was killed in a US airstrike.   Having been arrested for street thuggery, he spent four years in U.S. detention camp, but was released in 2009, as he was believed to be a low threat.   With an original, primary focus on gaining and securing regional land to form the Caliphate, al-Baghdadi is more recently reportedly calling on ISIS followers to carry out attacks at home on Western soil, as demonstrated by the recent terror attack in Paris, France at Charlie Hebdo and a terrorist attempt at an anti-Muslim event in Garland, TX.

What does ISIS Believe?
The belief system of ISIS is fundamentally and strictly Islamic.   It is understood that every strategy, decision and law enforced adheres strictly to "the Prophetic methodology" as detailed by Muhammad in the Qur’an.   The ideology and atrocities of ISIS (in particular to Sharia Law) have led to them finding opposition from various Islamic leaders and groups, including terrorist group al-Qaeda.   Despite ISIS having roots with al-Qaeda, al-Qaeda has abandoned links to ISIS criticizing their disregard for civilian life, thus overshadowing one of the most notorious terrorist groups in history, making them a shared enemy of the United States.

Where does ISIS get money?
ISIS is shockingly rich.   So rich, that it is estimated that they receive upwards of 3 million dollars a day in revenue, with a net worth of 2 billion dollars, making them one of the richest terrorist groups in history.   They are funded through means of extortion racket, wealthy donors, human trafficking, kidnapping, looting, taxes, oil smuggling and robbery.

What does ISIS want?
A fundamental goal of ISIS is to eradicate Christians and other religious groups, through any cold-blooded means.   This includes genocide towards the following: Christians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriac and Armenian Christians, Yazidis, Druze, Shabaks, Mandeans and any people who they claim disobey Sharia law.   As seen in recent headlines, innocent civilians are being forced from their homes, fleeing for their lives.   Women are enslaved, men are beheaded and children are reported massacred as well.   As a "reward" for their work, ISIS fighters receive captured women as young as 13 to rape.   In the first eight months of 2014, it is believed that 10,000 civilians have died from beheadings, crucifixions, gunfire, dehydration, starvation, etc.

How does ISIS recruit followers?
The internet and social media have quickly become one of ISIS’s greatest tools and allies.   Their armies grow and flourish through social media and online messages.   ISIS fighters have tripled from 10,000 to over 31,000 in just a few months.   It is estimated that well over 1000 westerners have joined and are welcomed to the group due to their value in being able to use their passports to carry out attacks on Western soil.   Hollywood-esque style execution videos are produced and published online, with each video becoming more gripping and grotesque than the previous — attracting disturbed and impressionable followers from the West.

Who else supports ISIS?
ISIS “wives” are becoming a great threat.   They are responsible for operations and communications with ISIS fighters, especially because they believe U.S. intelligence pays less attention to them.   Another unassuming group has become young Sunni men.   With a failing economy, no job prospects and facing poverty, joining the ISIS army is an attractive and easy decision for these young, impressionable and desperate men.

What does ISIS want to happen?
ISIS believes that they are in the battle for end times of all history.   ISIS is a doomsday-driven movement, consisting of the prophetic belief that they are the central focus of a foreign invasion of infidels to end the world as we know it.   These end-times prophesies behold a strategy outlining their path to Judgement Day, which could prove valuable to the West in navigating their behaviour.   During the last years of the U.S. occupation of Iraq, the Islamic State’s immediate founding fathers, by contrast (to al-Qaeda leadership), saw signs of the end times everywhere.   The Islamic State has attached great importance to the Syrian city of Dabiq, near Aleppo.   It named its propaganda magazine after the town, and celebrated madly when at great cost, it conquered Dabiq’s strategically unimportant plains.   It is here, the Prophet reportedly said, that the armies of Rome will set up their camp.   The armies of Islam will meet them, and Dabiq will be Rome’s Waterloo.   An anti-Messiah, known in Muslim apocalyptic literature as Dajjal, will come from the Khorasan region of eastern Iran and kill a vast number of the Caliphate’s fighters, until just 5,000 remain, cornered in Jerusalem.   Just as Dajjal prepares to finish them off, Jesus—the second-most-revered prophet in Islam—will return to Earth, spear Dajjal, and lead the Muslims to victory.   This grotesque imaginary story is not found in the Bible.

What is next for ISIS?
What is next for ISIS?   They wait and build their strength.   They pursue acts of terror around the world.   Currently, farmland in Dabiq is under siege and ISIS awaits the invasion of the infidel army in this prophesied final battle and thus inaugurating the countdown to what they believe will be the end of the world.   Although this is pacing to be a war that is far from over, their zeal towards their own obliteration coupled with obedience to the prophesies, could prove helpful to Western forces in finally ceasing the bloodshed of so many people.

(compilation from varied sources)


Tuesday, 23 June 2015

National Day of Remembrance

Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada to mark the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism

June 23, 2015 Ottawa

“Thirty years ago today, in June 1985, a terrorist attack took place that killed all 329 passengers and crew members aboard Air India Flight 182.   On this somber anniversary, we stand in solidarity with the friends and families who lost loved ones in that heinous attack and honour those lost.   On this sad day, let us also remember all those who were victims of such senseless acts of hate and empathize with the families left to mourn.

“Today, Laureen and I had the privilege of laying a wreath in the Hall of Honour on Parliament Hill in remembrance.   We were deeply moved by this solemn tribute as well as by our meeting with families impacted by acts of terror.

“It is no secret that we live in troubled times.   The world is now faced with an enemy who opposes the values we hold most dear: freedom, democracy, tolerance and openness.   This enemy is violent jihadism, and we cannot and will not ignore the threat it presents to Canadians here at home and abroad.

“That is why we have joined our allies in a broad international coalition to fight the so-called Islamic State (ISIS).   It is why we have provided our law enforcement and security agencies with significant new resources, legislation and other tools to fight terrorists and keep Canadians safe.   The brave men and women of our military, our security agencies and our local law enforcement are the frontline that stands between peace and order, and fear and turmoil.   We thank them for their vigilance and dedicated service.

“On days such as this, I cannot help but cast my mind back to the Canadians who perished in Air India Flight 182 and in the World Trade Center attacks, to last year’s cowardly murders of Corporal Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, and to the many terrorist activities that have been foiled by the vigilance of our security agencies.   These recollections serve as a reminder that Canada is not immune to the threat of terrorism and that continued vigilance is essential.


“As we mark the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism, let us renew our resolve to continue responding to the terrorist threat with vigilance and decisive action.   We owe this to the many victims lost to terrorism.”

Monday, 8 June 2015

Ukraine

The Prime Minister was in the Ukraine.  This report, and what it symbolizes, is much more important than the media comprehend.  Think about it from a geopolitical perspective.

Click on the link to watch the video.  One can sign up for free to receive these regularly, to see what is actually going on.  This link bypasses the media spin and their non-reporting, that they use to further their agenda.

http://pm.gc.ca/eng/video/24-seven-exclusive-pm-harpers-trip-ukraine

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Sunday Picnic



 1877 May Queen Suite
 New Westminster Armoury
 Lancers

 Taylor Atherley Miss New Westminster Ambassador 2015





 Quadrilles






 Farewell Picture
Wave in Tipperary Park New Westminster

Tradition is saved.   Members of the May Queen Suite, Royal Knights, and Royal Lancers have fun at the inaugural May Day Community Heritage Picnic, New Westminster.

More than 300 attended the heritage picnic at the Royal Westminster Regiment Armoury on Sunday May 24th, 2015.   The Royal Lancers’ performance with members of the May Queen Suites was a highlight.

Honorary Colonel Karen Baker-MacGrotty, who organized the event with her husband David MacGrotty, remarked that the event was absolutely unbelievable and fantastic, seeing the joy on the children’s faces.   Everyone enjoyed a great afternoon, young and old.

The event was a finale to New Westminster’s Hyack Festival week.   The gathering included a PowerPoint presentation on the history of New Westminster’s May Day, a display of memorabilia, an honour guard, and military brass band music.   Boys serving as Royal Knights read out May Day historic trivia, while girls in both the 2014 and 2015 May Queen Suites danced four quadrille performances, including the rousing march-in and march-out with the Lancers.

The dances were in honour of Queen Victoria, as it was her actual birthday.   It was fortunate to have this year’s event take place on her birthday, within an Armoury that was built during her reign.   She gave the city its name, and forever is known as the Royal City.

Instead of letting the tradition fade away, supporters rallied together to organize a new free community event, which in ways was similar to the very first May Days in the city.   Kathie (Gifford) Glassie, the city’s 1975 May Queen, served as the event’s MC. 

As a picnic, it was inexpensive and accessible for all.   However, it also had some ceremony that was fitting for the day.   Based on success, and a desire to keep the May Queen Suite and Royal Lancers’ tradition alive – organizers plan to have an annul gathering.

Based on material from New Westminster Record (Theresa McManus)

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Victoria Day















May 18, 2015   Residents of New Westminster celebrated Victoria Day in a special manner.   We are the “Royal City”, because Queen Victoria personally gave us our name.   We continue to honour all our sovereigns on that day, with a 21-gun salute.   Since we have not had a functional cannon for a long time, we use two anvils.   Unique to New Westminster is the Ancient and Honourable Hyack Anvil Battery.   With great ceremony, they make the same celebratory salute.   Therefore, on Victoria Day, we again made some big noise in honour of the sovereign.  See pictures.



On the same day, the federal government issued the following on the occasion of Victoria Day:



Today, Canadians from across the country pause to officially celebrate the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada.



This year marks an historic moment of tremendous significance for both our Queen and country.  On September 9, Her Majesty’s reign will officially surpass that of her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, making her the longest reigning Sovereign in the modern era. 



For over 63 years, Her Majesty has served Canada and Canadians with wisdom, dignity and dedication.   It is for this reason that later this year, Canada will commemorate her historic reign in a variety of visible ways,



*-including the awarding of the first Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship to students for international exchanges across the Commonwealth



*-the issuing of commemorative coins by the Royal Canadian Mint



*-a stamp from Canada Post



*-a new $20 bank note from the Bank of Canada. 



Canada will also broadly distribute a special edition of its educational booklet on the Canadian Crown entitled “A Crown of Maples”, to new Canadians at citizenship court ceremonies.



As we move closer to celebrating the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, we are reminded of the many proud chapters of our history in which the Queen plays a pivotal role, thus emphasizing the central aspect of the Crown in both the daily life and the identity of our country.



On this Victoria Day, let us reflect on Her Majesty’s enduring service based on a deep affection for and unwavering dedication to this country.  We wish Her Majesty continued health and happiness in the years to come.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Canada Remembers Netherlands Liberation












May 4, 2015   A Canadian delegation is in the Netherlands this week to attend a series of ceremonies honouring the sacrifices Canadian soldiers made when they liberated the Dutch from Nazi occupation 70 years ago.

On Monday, the delegation of veterans attended a ceremony at the Holten Canadian War Cemetery in the Netherlands.   I have been there previously, and it is a solemn place.   The cemetery is the final resting place for 1,393 Commonwealth soldiers who died during the liberation campaign.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said,  “The heroes who liberated the Netherlands, like the men and women who serve our country today, understood that when there arises a great evil, a threat to all the things that define our existence as a free and just people, such enemies must be confronted.”

In total, more than 7,600 Canadians lost their lives in the Netherlands between the fall of 1944 and May 5, 1945, when the Germans surrendered.   In honour of those Canadians, the veterans delegation is participating in 70th anniversary events throughout the week.  

In addition to the ceremony Monday, the Government of Canada hosted a ceremony of remembrance at the Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetary on Sunday, a liberation parade is planned for Tuesday, and a national street parade and liberation festival is scheduled for Saturday, May 9.

Source CTV 

Monday, 27 April 2015

May Day Community Heritage Picnic



May Day Community Heritage Picnic
 New Westminster Citizens Group Creates New “May Day Community Heritage Picnic”
Sunday, May 24, 2015

Century-old Royal City May Day traditions live on at free family event. 
Pack a lunch, wear your spring hats, and bring a smile.

Join local citizens at the first May Day Community Heritage Picnic
Sunday, May 24th from 1 – 4 p.m.
at the Armoury of The Royal Westminster Regiment (Queens Ave and 6th St).

The event is free, inclusive and open to all ages.
 For Information contact: Co-Chairs David MacGrotty or Karen Baker-MacGrotty royallancers@shaw.ca 604-526-2988
Background

David MacGrotty, Chair of the Royal Lancers and his wife, Hon. Col. Karen Baker-MacGrotty have unveiled a plan to generate a positive outcome from the recent New Westminster Council decision to eliminate the historical dance performance at the City’s hosted banquet.



A new grass roots May Day Community Heritage Group, comprised of former May Queens, Royal Lancers, coordinators, business and community leaders has been formed.  This collaborative committee of dedicated citizens will work in partnership with key community organizations and local historians to help share the joys of May Day present and past.



While dealing with the recent public campaign to preserve the traditional Royal Lancers’ dance performance, the MacGrottys recognized something special happening in the Royal City.   “Not only did we see an overwhelming public outcry to protect the rich traditions of May Day, we noticed an intense outpouring of community pride.  The Royal City was buzzing everywhere - on the streets, in coffee shops and at meetings.  Phones were ringing, emails were circulating and social media was on fire.  This topic had sparked conversation, united families, old friends, and even strangers, all with a common bond of May Days past.   It was apparent citizens wanted to embrace and celebrate the positive aspects of May Day!   We also could no longer sit back to allow more than a century of tradition to disappear,” said Baker-MacGrotty.



There was an idea of a picnic last year, but was put it on the shelf.   The recent closed-door Council decision led to revisit the plan.   “While everyone is waiting for various Council meetings to take place, we want to create something positive to lift the spirits of all the impacted groups, the children, their families, their friends and the community as a whole. It is just the right thing to do!” stated Baker-MacGrotty



“The picnic concept recreates, in a small way, the early beginnings of May Day in the Royal City.  May Day is not only a celebration for children.  As we look back to the early days in our city’s history and the reason for the creation of May Day, you find it was a celebration of all ages with its purpose to build community spirit for the disheartened citizens at that time.  We want the celebration to be fun and lighthearted!  We invite everyone to join, including our City Mayor and Council.”



“Whether it was memories of dancing as a child, or as an adult participating only once or at many May Days, or even just seeing a family member or neighbour involved in May Day, we discovered a large community of like-minded people, all with a common bond.  The desire to protect our cultural heritage and build the positive experiences of the Royal City’s May Day for future generations could not be ignored,” stated Baker-MacGrotty.


“Simply talk to people about their May Day experiences and they light up with instant smiles, recalling the feeling of the dances, the magic of the light hearted music, the fun and the games. People reminisce about their families, their wonderful memories of visiting and coming together for a joyous and cheery day.  It is said, May Day brings out the child in all of us!  We hope the happiness and joyful innocence of our youth, will perpetuate throughout this event and overflow into the community!  Let’s all come together in celebration and harmony!”



Since introducing the idea of a May Day Community Heritage Picnic, the response has been overwhelming.  Offers of help have been pouring in.  “As an open and inclusive event, bringing together citizens of all ages, backgrounds and ethnicity, the community picnic will foster the bonds between families and neighbours and help bridge the gap between youth and seniors,” stated Royal Lancers Chair David MacGrotty.  “It will have a positive impact on the social fabric of our citizens.  We want everyone to be happy!  This is our first event, and with less than a month to May Day, we will start small and simple.  We hope it will continue annually for many years to come!”



Further details will be announced in the coming weeks. Watch for updates.



For Information contact: Co-Chairs David MacGrotty or Karen Baker-MacGrotty royallancers@shaw.ca 604-526-2988

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Economic Action Plan 2015 (EAP) Budget


In keeping with a pre-budget tradition, federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver purchased a pair of new shoes Monday, opting for runners from the "New Balance" brand.

Oliver bought the black shoes, trimmed in Tory blue, at a store in north Toronto while journalists looked on.  This year, Joe Oliver sported a pair of “New Balance” runners to tout his government’s “action plan”, and first balanced budget since the 2008/09 recessions.

The late Jim Flaherty, who delivered his final budget last year, once got his shoes resoled instead of new ones to reflect his fiscal plan to rein in spending when the world economy went sour.

The new path, fresh start for the road ahead, new shoes tradition, started in the 1950’s.

A few highlights

Economic Action Plan 2015 (EAP)  supports jobs and growth, helps families and communities prosper, and ensures the security of Canadians.

Existing income splitting for families will be expanded.

The enhanced Universal Child Care Benefit will increase to $160 per month for families with children under six, and add a benefit of $60 a month for children between six and 17.

Families will also see a tax break with a $1,000-increase to the maximum amount that can be claimed under the Child Care Expense Deduction, which comes into effect next year.

For seniors, the government is reducing the minimum withdrawal required from retirement savings funds and introducing a tax credit to help cover the cost of home accessibility features such as wheelchair ramps and stair lifts.

The budget also increases the annual contribution Canadians can make to their tax-free savings account. The new limit is $10,000 a year, which targets older, more established workers with higher incomes.

The budget extends the Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefits from six weeks to six months. This will help Canadians caring for gravely ill family members such as elderly parents and families providing homecare.

Benefits for Veterans.   They include a new retirement income security benefit for disabled veterans that extends beyond their 65th birthday, ensuring that reserve veterans get access to the same benefits as regular forces troops, and a $70,000 tax-free benefit for severely disabled and traumatised veterans.  In total, the government says it is spending about $2.5 billion over six years on new benefits for veterans.

The government is committing $2.3 billion over the next four years to support affordable housing, which was a key recommendation of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

Cities will be able to apply for transit infrastructure money under a new transit fund, which will provide $750 million until 2019, then $1 billion annually on a permanent basis. The government will favour public-private partnerships, and make payments over 20 or 30 years.

Friday, 3 April 2015

EASTER



* Easter gives the world hope


In tough times, Easter gives the world hope that this earth isn’t our forever home.   That inspirational hope is essential to our faith.  God is, and is engaged with His creation.

* Easter brings families together

Easter is an amazing occasion for celebration and remembrance all across Christianity.   It is an opportunity to bring everyone in your life together to worship, to be thankful, and learn the values of  productive living.

* Easter gives us reason to sing

Many beautiful hymns and songs have come about as a result of Easter, so enjoy singing them this year.  Spring is the time to sing, as the birds sound renewed melodies.

* Easter gives us a chance to pause


Celebrating Easter gives us a chance to stop and remember all that Christ sacrificed for us, and what really is the way, the truth, and the life.   Remembering brings thankfulness.

* Easter gives us a chance to have community


While Easter is as commercialized as any major holiday, it has produced its share of fun and meaningful social traditions.   We all have great memories of an Easter egg hunt or a parade.

* Easter gave us everything

Without Easter there would be no Christianity and positive philosophy of life.   Belief in the resurrection is what keeps the inner faith going, and then positively impacting people by the millions.

Background

Easter (Old English usually Ēastrun) also called Pasch (derived, through Latin: Pascha and Greek Πάσχα Paskha) or Resurrection Sunday, is a festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day of his burial after his crucifixion by Romans at Calvary Jerusalem.  



The week before Easter is called Holy Week, and it contains the days of the Easter Triduum, including Maundy Thursday (also known as Holy Thursday), commemorating the Last Supper and its preceding foot washing, as well as Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus.   In western Christianity, Eastertide, the Easter Season, begins on Easter Sunday and lasts seven weeks, ending with the coming of the fiftieth day, Pentecost Sunday.



Easter and the holidays that are related to it are moveable feasts in that they do not fall on a fixed date in the Gregorian or Julian calendars which follow the only cycle of the sun; rather, its date is determined on a lunisolar calendar similar to the Hebrew calendar.   It has come to be the first Sunday after the full moon that occurs on or soonest after 21 March, but calculations vary in East and West.



Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism, as well as by its position in the calendar.   In many languages, the words for "Easter" and "Passover" are identical or very similar.    Easter customs vary across the Christian world, and include sunrise services, exclaiming the Paschal greeting, and decorating Easter eggs, a symbol of the empty tomb.   The Easter lily, a symbol of the resurrection, traditionally decorates the chancel area of churches on this day and for the rest of Eastertide.   Additional customs that have become associated with Easter and are observed by both Christians and non-Christians which may include egg hunting, the Easter Bunny, and Easter parades.   There are also various traditional Easter foods that vary regionally.



The New Testament states that the resurrection of Jesus, which Easter celebrates, is a foundation of the Christian faith.   The resurrection established Jesus as the powerful Son of God (and also God) and is cited as proof that God will judge the world in righteousness.   God has given Christians "a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead".   Christians, through faith in the working of God are spiritually resurrected with Jesus so that they may walk in a new way of life.



Easter is linked to the Passover and Exodus from Egypt recorded in the Old Testament through the Last Supper and crucifixion that preceded the resurrection.   According to the New Testament, Jesus gave the Passover meal a new meaning, as he prepared himself and his disciples for his death in the upper room during the Last Supper.   He identified the matzah and cup of wine as his body soon to be sacrificed and his blood soon to be shed.   St.Paul states, "Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are.   For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed"; this refers to the Passover requirement to have no yeast in the house and to the allegory of Jesus as the Paschal lamb.






(text from many sources)