The oldest Christian holiday, Easter arrived in America around the 1700s, but has a history that dates much further back. As you sit down to dinner with loved ones, use these tidbits as a way to pass the time between courses.
The death and resurrection of Jesus occurred around the same time as Passover — which happened to be celebrated on the first full moon after the spring equinox. It’s believed that this is what paved the way to Christians celebrating Easter on different dates, as it aligns with the phases of the moon.
2. PEEP THIS
Americans buy millions of marshmallow candies during Easter. In fact, they purchase so much of it that it’s considered the most popular non-chocolate Easter candy of choice. Easter is actually the second biggest candy-buying and consuming holiday — following Halloween, of course.
3. EVERYBUNNY LOVES RABBIT
The origin of the Easter bunny remains uncertain, but its lore is blanketed in symbology. As the Christian faith spread across Europe, various customs began integrating themselves — in fact, it’s believed that the term ‘Easter’ is derived from ‘Eastre’ the goddess of spring and fertility. As for the egg-toting bunny, you ask? A symbol of birth and new life for centuries, eggs made their way into Easter traditions around the 13th century. The yolk represented Christ’s emergence from the tomb, and people painted them red, symbolic of the blood of Christ.
4. ROMAN RULE
Believe it or not, Easter wasn’t always on a Sunday. Originally, it was two days after Passover, making it practically any day of the week. It wasn’t until Roman emperor Constantine ruled that the spring holiday should only fall on a Sunday — in line with the day Christ rose again.
5. WITH ALL THE FRILLS
The famed New York City Easter Parade has been held annually for over a hundred years. It began as a way for the upper class citizens of Manhattan to show off their bonnets (the ones with all the frills upon them) and new clothes. Before long the onlookers became more than just spectators, as the popularity of this tradition grew, everyone took part — eventually evolving into the beloved event it is today.
Looking for something to do once your tummies are full and plates are cleaned? Take our Divine Guides quiz!
Most importantly, instead of counting calories today, count your blessings. Happy Easter, everyone!