The meaning of the many different customs observed during Easter Sunday have been buried with time. Their origins lie in both pre-Christian religions and Christianity. In one way or another all the customs are a "salute to spring" marking re-birth.
The white Easter lily has come to capture the glory of the holiday. The word "Easter" is named after Eastre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring. A festival was held in her honor every year at the vernal equinox.
People celebrate Easter according to their beliefs and their religious denominations. Christians commemorate Good Friday as the day that Jesus Christ died and Easter Sunday as the day that He was resurrected. Protestant settlers brought the custom of a sunrise service, a religious gathering at dawn.
Who is the Easter Bunny?
Today on Easter Sunday, many children wake up to find that the Easter Bunny has left them baskets of candy. He has also hidden the eggs that they decorated earlier that week. Children hunt for the eggs all around the house. Neighborhoods and organizations hold Easter egg hunts, and the child who finds the most eggs wins a prize.
The Easter Bunny is a rabbit-spirit.
Long ago, he was called the "Easter Hare", hares and rabbits have frequent multiple births so they became a symbol of fertility. The custom of an Easter egg hunt began because children believed that hares laid eggs in the grass. The Romans believed that "All life comes from an egg." Christians consider eggs to be "the seed of life" and so they are symbolic of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Why we dye, or color, and decorate eggs is not certain. In ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome and Persia eggs were dyed for spring festivals. In medieval Europe, beautifully decorated eggs were given as gifts.