GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — For the second year in a row Ramadan, Passover and Easter Sunday will occur during the same weekend.
Typically, this event happens three times a century or once every 33 years. Followers of the three faiths — all preparing to commemorate their holy days — share similarities.
“Passover is about a feast. Easter Sunday is a feast. And Ramadan even, every night, is a feast. They come together with food,” Rev. Mike Cruickshank, an associate pastor at St. Andrews Cathedral, said. “That is also a celebration with God. We bring ourselves together in community.”
The Jewish faith celebrates Passover, which is the liberation of Hebrews from slavery in Egypt. Muslims mark Ramadan, which is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, as the time when parts of the Qu’ran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. Easter is the Christian celebration of the resurrection of Jesus.
“Our ancestors left in hast from Egypt, and they carried with them bread that didn’t have time to rise. So in remembrance of that, we eliminate traditional bread from our diets and we eat matzah. To put ourselves in that place of what they carried and what they ate,” Rabbi Michael Schadick of Temple Emmanuel said. “Springtime represents rebirth and renewal and new life and that is the message of Passover. That tomorrow can be better, the new season can be better, than the darkness of yesterday.”
“Any time any particular group is thinking about higher things, heavenly things, divine things and when they know of other groups that are doing the same thing there is kind of a solidarity in that,” Cruikshank said.
Easter is this Sunday, Ramadan is a month-long celebration that began March 22 and Passover began Wednesday night.