The History of Easter
Easter is a Christian holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead three days after his crucifixion on Good Friday and marking the end of the Lent.
Easter is the holiest day in the Christian calendar, followed by Christmas and is recognized as a legal holiday in most countries with a significant Christian tradition, with the notable exception of the United States where Easter is only celebrated on Easter Sunday (and not also on Easter Monday).
The timing of Easter depends on the Jewish Pesach, in English Passover, which commemorates the sparing of the Hebrew first-born, as recounted in Exodus, since it is during this holiday that Jesus is believed to have been resurrected.
Easter and the holidays that are related to it are moveable feasts, in that they do not fall on a fixed date in the Gregorian calendar (which follows the motion of the Sun and the seasons). (Source: Easter Corner.com)
The Easter Bunny
The Easter Bunny is not a modern invention. The symbol originated with the pagan festival of Eastre. The goddess, Eastre, was worshipped by the Anglo-Saxons through her earthly symbol, the rabbit.
The Germans brought the symbol of the Easter rabbit to America . It was widely ignored by other Christians until shortly after the Civil War. In fact, Easter itself was not widely celebrated in America until after that time.
The Easter Egg
As with the Easter Bunny and the holiday itself, the Easter Egg predates the Christian holiday of Easter. The exchange of eggs in the springtime is a custom that was centuries old when Easter was first celebrated by Christians.
From the earliest times, the egg was a symbol of rebirth in most cultures. Eggs were often wrapped in gold leaf or, if you were a peasant, colored brightly by boiling them with the leaves or petals of certain flowers.
Today, children hunt colored eggs and place them in Easter baskets along with the modern version of real Easter eggs — those made of plastic or chocolate candy.
(Source: The Holiday Spot.com)
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