This year, Easter Sunday falls on April 8, 2012 for Christians and Catholics, with the Orthodox Easter falling on April 15, 2012.
Easter is also known as Resurrection Sunday, and it celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christians believe that Jesus was crucified on Good Friday, and rose from the dead three days later on Easter. Easter is the end of Lent, which is a 40 day period of fasting, sacrifice, prayer and penance. Easter is followed by a 50 day period which is called Eastertide, ending with the Sunday of Pentecost.
Many Christians begin the Easter Holiday with observances throughout what is known as Holy Week, the last week of Lent. Holy Week marks the series of events leading up to the end of Jesus’s life as described in the Gospels — his entrance into Jerusalem with Palm Sunday, Spy Wednesday marking Jesus’ betrayal by Judas Iscariot, the Last Supper on Holy (Maundy) Thursday, and his death and crucifixion on Good Friday…the holiest and most solemn day of the year for Christians and Catholics. On Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, some churches celebrate the Tenebrae. Tenebrae is a special liturgy. The word tenebrae comes from Latin, meaning darkness. During this service, all the candles on the altar are gradually extinguished until the sanctuary is in complete darkness. At the moment of darkness, a loud clash occurs symbolizing the moment of Jesus’ death. In essence, Tenebrae is a funeral service for Christ.
The celebration of the resurrection of Christ begins for many on the evening of Holy Saturday, when congregations celebrate the Great Easter Vigil (or Paschal Vigil). The religions of Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran and some Protestant churches celebrate this service by moving from darkenss into the light – often symbolized by the use of candles in a dark church, and beginning with a bonfire outside the church. This is the re-enactment of the story of Christ rising from the dead. A candle is lit from the fire outside, and processed into the dark church, and the Easter Proclamation is sung. Passages from scripture are read and then there is the celebration of the Eucharist. In several churches, this is also the service where new converts are formally baptized into the faith. Some churches celebrate a sunrise service on Easter Sunday morning, to simulate the same effect and symbolism of the risen Christ. Easter Sunday, like Christmas, is a day of rejoicing and joy in the Christian Faith…and often, Christians greet each other by saying “Christ is Risen”, with the reply of “Indeed, he is risen”.
Of course, as with most religious holidays, there are more secular and fun activities…and FOOD! Children decorate Easter Eggs in all sorts of fashion – from dyeing with bright colors, to painting, and awaiting baskets of candy and other goodies from the Easter Bunny. It is a sure sign of spring to see children in their Easter finest, and fun and family abound.
Many families celebrate with each other by sharing meals at home, with traditional spring food such as lamb or ham complete with trimmings. However, once in a while you might wish to leave the cooking to someone else, and just kick back with some good food without the fuss. If that is your plan, we have listed a few locations in Westchester that will be having Easter specials on their menu.
WHERE TO EAT BRUNCH, LUNCH OR DINNER ON EASTER
New Rochelle / offering an Easter Sunday brunch ($30 pp; children under 12, $15). Seatings are at 1 and 4 pm.
Yonkers | Contemporary American
X20 Xaviars on the Hudson will be serving a 3 course menu priced at $65.00 per person from 1-7 p.m.
White Plains / Westchester’s special Easter brunch from 11 am to 2 pm includes an egg hunt and photos with the Easter Bunny. The cost is $65 (adults), $35 (children 2-10), and free for children under 2
Rye | Steak
Opening at 1:00 PM. Offering 3-course, Leg of Lamb prix fixe menu $45 along with our regular dinner menu and nightly specials.
The Atrium will serve a special Easter buffet ($45.95 for adults and $22.50 for children ages 4-10). Seatings: 11:30 am, noon, 2 pm, 2:30 pm, and 4:30 pm.
Scarsdale | Mediterranean
Celebrate Easter with your friends and family at Fig & Olive with a special lunch prix fixe $40 (3 course lunch with choice of mimosa, Bloody mary, piscine or orange juice)
Peter Pratt’s Inn (673 Croton Heights Rd, Yorktown Heights 914-962-4090; prattsinn.com) is offering a traditional Easter Sunday family dinner from 1 to 8 pm. Entrées start at $25, with a children’s menu also offered.
Tuckahoe | American
The Bistro is serving our awesome brunch from 11:30 to 1:30 and our regular dinner menu plus specials LAMB! from 3 to 7
Crabtree’s Kittle House Easter Brunch begins at 11:30 ($55 for adults, includes a Bloody Mary, mimosa or glass of Champagne; children 12 years and under eat at halfprice)
La Panetiere hosts it’s five-course Easter Sunday meal costing $82 ($52 more paired with wine). Seating times are from noon to 1 pm, 3 to 4 pm, and anytime after 6. Separate menu for children.
New Rochelle | Southern
Offering some limited menu items and our Easter Sunday Brunch Buffet, we are opened until 6 p.m.
Bedford | Contemporary American
Celebrate Easter in the Farmhouse. We will be serving a delicious three course prix fixe menu. Join us at 10:30am for our 2nd Annual Easter Egg Hunt! All ages are welcome.
White Plains | Steakhouse
Celebrate Easter Sunday with loved ones at Benjamin Steakhouse! Featuring a lavish, 3-course prix fixe menu that’s sure to please. Available Lunch & Dinner, $59.95 per person
Pelham | Contemporary French / American
Open 9:30-8:00 – Special Three-Course Easter Dinner from Noon-8:00pm $48 Adults, $18 Children (under 12) Plus our Regular Ala Carte Brunch and Dinner Menus Available
Westchester Happening wishes you and your family a very Happy Easter!!