Easter is well-documented to have been influenced by the pre-Christian religions of Europe and the Middle East, but what about Good Friday? Learn about what sort of influence ancient civilizations and their religions had on the day Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Christ here.
It's important to note that the Easter season is celebrated in the spring, a particularly important time for early humans because of the spring equinox. In 2018, the spring equinox occurred at 12:15 p.m. EDT on March 20 in the northern hemisphere. During this time, the sun moved directly over the earth's equator and signaled the first day of the astronomical spring, versus the meteorological spring. These are the two ways to measure the seasons: the astronomical way reflects natural phenomena to mark time, while the meteorological way is based on the annual temperature cycle as well as our 12-month calendar.