- History & Culture
Why Easter is celebrated with bunnies and egg hunts
The 2,000-year-old Christian holiday marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ—but some of its modern traditions have pagan origins as symbols of new life.
Chocolate bunnies. Bouquets of lilies and daffodils. Hunting for dyed eggs. For many, Easter functions as the unofficial kickoff of spring—but for Christians around the world, the holiday is the most important celebration of the year.
Rooted in more than 2,000 years of ritual and rite, Easter commemorates the central event in the Christian church: the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which Christians see as fulfilling the biblical prophecy of a messiah who would rise from the dead and give eternal life in heaven to those who believe in him. (Here's what archaeology is telling us about the real Jesus.)
The holiday takes place at the end of Lent, a 40-day season of fasting and repentance that culminates in Holy Week