Easter, the holiest day in the Christian calendar, begins for Idyllwild with the traditional Easter Sunrise Service at 6:30 a.m. Sunday, April 20, at Inspiration Point at the end of Double View Drive.
Pastor Tim Westcott of the Idyllwild Bible Church will celebrate an event that for Christians worldwide is the most momentous in the Christian calendar — the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after his crucifixion on a hill in Jerusalem. The title of his sermon is “What is Easter?” Throughout the Christian world, the faithful exchange Easter greetings of “He is risen!” as they don bright and festive finery to celebrate the promise of renewed life and purpose.
It is a season of religious feasts and celebration not just for Christians, but also for Jews given that Passover and Easter occur during the same period.
Local churches begin the lead-up to Easter Sunday with services on Maundy Thursday, April 17; Good Friday, April 18; and Holy Saturday, April 19. Consult your church for services offered and the times.
Easter, the vernal or spring equinox, the budding of trees, the carpeting of flowers, the proliferation of bright green grass and the arrival of longer periods of daylight are traditionally associated as acknowledgements of the continuity of life. Parents and children decorate and color eggs to symbolize the optimism of the season and the arrival of new birth after an often dreary and fallow winter. Rabbits and eggs, secular symbols now associated with Easter, have their roots in pre-Christian fertility rites. But regardless of the derivation of the traditions and symbols, it is a season that celebrates new and vibrant life.
And for children, Easter morning is a magical time to search their homes for brightly decorated hidden baskets holding gifts, candy and colored eggs left by the Easter Bunny. Community Easter egg hunts are planned both by the Idyllwild Community Center and American Legion Post 800. The Idyllwild Community Center invites children from toddlers to ages 10 and older to a hunt at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 19. ICC’s Dawn Sonnier reports that because of generous sponsorships from local families, merchants and restaurants, 3,000 plastic and real eggs will be hidden on the ICC site, an increase of 1,000 more than last year. “There is also an Easter bonnet contest and the Easter Bunny will be hopping by,” said Sonnier.
Post 800 has scheduled its hunt for Easter Sunday, from 1 to 3 p.m., on the post grounds. The Easter Bunny also will stop by and lunch will be served to all attendees. Festivities are sponsored by the post’s Ladies Auxiliary.
Local restaurants offer a variety of Easter brunches and dinners. Celebratory meals, treats and traditional feasts are integral parts of the Easter Sunday holiday, since they follow a Lent period characterized by fasting and denial. If dining out, be certain to make reservations early.