What Does Easter Represent?


Quick Answer

For Christians, Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which occurred three days after he was crucified. Easter Sunday is celebrated at the end of Lent, 40 days after Ash Wednesday. Good Friday falls three days before Easter Sunday and marks the day of Jesus' death.

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Full Answer

In Western Christianity, Easter Sunday can fall anywhere from March 22 to April 15. This is because Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the Paschal full moon on the Ecclesiastical calendar, which is the first full moon following the spring equinox. In Eastern Orthodox Christianity, the holiday is called "Pascha," and it can occur as much as five weeks away from Western Easter due to a difference in calculating the date.

For many years, there was confusion about when the resurrection of Christ should be celebrated. The ruling of the Council of Nicea in 325 AD finally set the official date, which was chosen to coincide with many pagan festivals celebrating the spring equinox.

It is also thought that many of Easter's most famous symbols, including Easter eggs and the Easter bunny, have their roots in these pagan spring festivals. Both rabbits and eggs were pagan symbols for rebirth and fertility that eventually found their way into the Christian holiday.

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