What is Easter Monday? Significance, Customs, and Traditions

Easter Monday is a Christian holiday observed by many Christian groups the day after Easter Sunday.

Have you ever wondered what happens after the Holy Week? After the celebration of Easter Sunday, what takes place the Monday after? Many people mark Easter Sunday as the culmination of Holy Week. However, the festivities continue the Monday after in different parts of the globe. This day is called Easter Monday.

What is Easter Monday?

Easter Monday is the Monday following Easter Sunday. In 2022, Easter Monday is thus celebrated on the 18th of April. Other believers know this day as Bright Monday, Dyngus Day, Wet Monday, or Renewal Monday. Catholics call it Monday of the Angel. People from South America and Europe know this day as Little Easter.

History and background

Many followers of Christ consider Easter as the most important religious holiday. On Easter Sunday, Jesus resurrected from the dead, claiming victory over death and sin. Many Christians note that Jesus stayed on earth for forty days following His resurrection. In these forty days, He appeared to His disciples, fellowshipped with them, and spread the Good News of the gospel. This period was said to be important in establishing the first church. After these forty days, Christians believe that Jesus went up to heaven.

Easter Monday was coined at the beginning of the 15th century. Before the 19th century, the week after Easter Sunday was called Easter week in various countries. However, it was cut to only a one-day celebration on Easter Monday.

Easter Monday coincides with another local public holiday in countries like England, Northern Ireland, Australia, and Egypt. Easter Monday 2022 falls on the same day as Patriots’ Day in the US.

Symbols

Cross

For many believers, the cross is an important symbol of Easter. This cross in Calvary was where Jesus was crucified on Good Friday, bearing the world’s sins. On that day, the disciples felt defeated as evil seemed to reign. But Jesus won over the authorities of evil and overcame death.

During Easter, the cross is an excellent symbol of the lavish love of God, His forgiveness, and perfect justice (Romans 5:8). The cross also gives a powerful message of hope. Christianity is set apart from other faiths because holiness and divinity reached down to us. The Son of Man, Jesus Christ, descended from heaven to save us (John 6:50-51). Believers can approach God and have a personal fellowship with Him because of the blood Jesus shed on the cross.

Easter eggs

Contemporary Easter celebrations involve Easter eggs. Many individuals paint and design eggs, making them look creative and pretty. Some activities that revolve around Easter eggs include rolling them down a hill or doing an Easter egg hunt. In pagan times, eggs were linked to fertility. Persons during that time celebrated spring festivals. In Christian times, spring became highly associated with the resurrection of Christ. Many Christians see Easter eggs as a representation of the rebirth of Jesus in His resurrection. Eggs symbolize new life. Some people also associate the shape of the egg with the shape of the stone from the tomb Jesus was laid.

Easter lilies

Easter lilies, also known as ‘white-robed apostles of hope,’ symbolize the purity of Jesus Christ. The Bible alludes to the flower several times, like in Matthew 6:25. Easter lilies also represent rebirth, hope, and fresh beginnings. The trumpet-like form of the lily is also associated with the picture of a trumpet sounding the good news that Jesus is alive and risen. Easter lilies undergo a metamorphosis from an unappealing bulb to a fragrant and beautiful flower. Many individuals parallel such transformation with the death and resurrection of Jesus.

What the Bible Says About Easter Monday

The Bible is not explicit in coining the term Easter Monday. There is no mention of such a day after the resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday. There is also no instruction from Scripture to celebrate Easter Monday. Thus, the Monday after Easter Sunday for many denominations is like any typical day. It is noteworthy that in engaging in Easter Monday traditions, believers should not veer away from the true message of the gospel.

Who Celebrates Easter Monday?

Several Christian denominations celebrate Easter Monday. However, it is most popularly associated with the Roman Catholic tradition and the Eastern Orthodox faith. In the Catholic congregation, Easter Monday is the start of Easter Week. In the Eastern Orthodox church, it marks the beginning of Bright Week.

Significance of Easter Monday

Several believers celebrate Easter Monday as a commemoration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, Easter Monday marks the start of Bright Week. For Catholics, it kickstarts the Easter Octave. Both Bright Week and Easter Octave are festive periods to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. Church members sing hymns and songs of praise and read Scripture.

Easter Monday is a time of jubilation for the triumph of Jesus over evil and death. During Easter Monday, believers rejoice at the promise of eternal life because of Christ’s resurrection. 

How to Celebrate Easter Monday

Attend service

Assembling as believers is an essential part of God’s plan and one’s faith journey. God commands His Church to draw closer to Him and not abandon coming together as followers of Christ. Because of the truth of the resurrection of Jesus, we are fueled to obey God. 

We also become motivated to encourage and urge other believers to step out in faith and build an intimate relationship with Christ. Attending service thus strengthens believers’ spiritual maturity and helps in building up the body of Christ. Worshiping God together is a powerful way of testifying to the Good News of the gospel.

Easter Monday is a blissful day to join your congregation in celebrating the message of Christ’s resurrection.

Enjoy festivities

Catholics join processions conducted outdoors after a liturgical celebration. This solemn activity aims to remember the victory of Jesus on the cross at Calvary, saving the world from sin.

Others have a more festive celebration. They join activities like Easter-egg rolling competitions. Such competition represents the rolling of the tombstone where Christ was ‘put to rest.’

 Also, one tradition is waking each other up by pouring pails of water on each other. This activity is why Easter Monday is also called Wet Monday. Others have large gatherings and polka festivities. Such practice is associated with Dingus Day.

Rest and reflect on the word of God

Scripture reading is a spiritual discipline that every believer must practice. The Bible demonstrates God’s attributes and character. It reveals God’s plan for His people and is the sole authority of God’s word. Scripture equips, corrects, teaches, and trains (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Reading Scripture allows us to grow in wisdom and discernment. It protects us from lies, keeps us from sinning, and fills us with joy and hope.

Because of the resurrection of Christ, we can be confident that the Bible records what God has done. We are assured that God is a promise-keeper as depicted in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. In light of the resurrection, we approach Bible reading as an encounter with God and not a hollow and empty ritual.

When we read the Bible on Easter Monday, we do so in a spirit of awe and gratitude for Christ’s life-giving sacrifice. We marvel at the abundant love God affords us through sending His Son to die for our sins. 

As believers, we reflect on the Easter message and appreciate its authority in our lives. We also look into our lives and see how the resurrection influences our thoughts, decisions, and actions. 

The message of Easter also allows us to read the Bible and live it out. The victory of Jesus on the cross enables Scripture to come alive in our every day.

Bible Verses to Ponder Upon on Easter Monday

On the death of Christ for our sins

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds, you have been healed.” For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” (1 Peter 2:24-25)

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us – for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.” (Galatians 3:13)

On Christ’s victory and God’s promises through the resurrection of Jesus

“Having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” (Colossians 2:14-15)

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:1-3)

“When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:54-57

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” (Philippians 3:20-21)

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter 1:3)

Prayer for Easter Monday

Almighty Father

As I celebrate Easter Monday, I remember Christ’s finished work on the cross. Thank you for your lavish love upon me that You sent Jesus to save me from my sins. He bore the penalty of my wretchedness. By your power, Christ overcame death. Thank you for the promise of Christ’s resurrection – salvation and eternal life. Thank you that you made me a new creation in Christ.

I confess my need for your sanctifying grace. Remind me every day of the power of the resurrection and what that means for my earthly life. I know You will keep me safe and protected. I do not need to fear for the power that raised Jesus is the same power that enables me to walk this fallen world. Keep me rooted in Your word and allow me to step into obedience with boldness and courage.

By your grace, may I be salt and light to others. I surrender my life to you. Use me in building your kingdom. Allow my life to be a platform of your majesty. To You be the glory today and always. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

In Summary

Easter Monday is a day of festivity immediately after Easter Sunday. Though it is considered a religious holiday, not all believers celebrate it. The day is most popular among Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Churches. Easter Monday is a day to bask in the joy of the resurrection of Christ. Many believers commemorate it by attending service, participating in the procession, and joining outdoor activities.

Amidst all the festivities and traditions, the central message of Easter Monday is the victory of Jesus Christ on the cross that paved the way for eternal life. As you celebrate Easter Monday, may the powerful message of the gospel be in your mind and heart!

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Alex Shute
EDITOR
Alex Shute, MBA
Alex is a family man and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. His passion is to serve the global Church and bring people of diverse backgrounds together to learn & grow.