The Easter holiday is celebrated based on Christian scripture that Jesus Christ was resurrected on that day. The holiday shifts according to the lunar cycle and is held on the first Sunday after the full moon. Easter is held between March 22nd and April 25th yearly. This was determined by the Council of Nicaea who was summoned by Emperor Constantine in the year A.D. 325, before that time Easter was celebrated on different days of the week.
There was a celebratory side to Easter that was non-religious. It was a pagan event and when the missionaries began converting these people to Christianity they changed the festival to represent the resurrection of Jesus Christ. They did this because celebrations that did not correspond with already established holidays would have been dangerous for converts. The missionaries wanted them to be able to continue their festivals and celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ that had occurred at the same time of the year was their way of protecting them.
The Easter Bunny has been a symbol of Easter since these early pagan festivals. Eastre was a goddess revered by the Anglo-Saxons and her figure on earth was in the form of a rabbit. It was the German people who brought this figure with them when they came to America. However, it didn’t catch on in American households until after the Civil War.
The Easter egg is also an ancient tradition that can be traced back to many different cultures. Eggs were exchanged in the spring to represent new life. Those who were wealthy would cover them in gold leaf and peasants would boil them with plants of various colors. These days’ children hunt for Easter eggs and carry them in baskets while waiting patiently for the Easter Bunny to visit bringing them candy.