Easter Facts
Easter Facts

40 Miraculous Easter Facts

James Israelsen
By James Israelsen, Associate Writer
Published March 1, 2021
  • In most Christian denominations, Easter is preceded by Lent, a 40-day period of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving.[3]
  • The date of Easter Sunday is different every year, and it is determined by the date of the spring equinox and the cycles of the moon.[3]
  • Because they use different calendars, the date of Easter is usually, but not always, different for Western Christians than it is for Eastern Orthodox Christians.[3]
  • For Eastern Orthodox Christians, Easter Sunday is the beginning of the Season of Pascha (the Greek word for Easter).[3]
  • Many Christian denominations celebrate the Easter season for 50 days, until the Day of Pentecost.[3]
  • Historians are divided about the root of the word "Easter": some believe it comes from the name of an Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring named "Eostre," while others maintain that the word is derived from a Latin word for "dawn."[3]
  • Although Easter is a Christian holiday, aspects of its celebration and meaning are rooted in both the Jewish Passover and pagan spring celebrations.[3]
  • The celebration of Easter is usually preceded by Holy Week, during which the last week in Jesus Christ's life, including the Last Supper and his Passion and Crucifixion, is remembered and honored.[3]
  • Easter Eggs
    Both hunting and painting eggs on Easter go back centuries
  • Many of Easter's non-religious traditions involve Easter eggs, such as egg decorating, egg rolling, and egg hunts. Such traditions are practiced by many Christians as well as non-Christians throughout the world.[3]
  • Because the date changes every year, Easter and its related holy days, such as Ash Wednesday and Pentecost, are called "moveable feasts."[3]
  • Many historians believe that the tradition of decorating Easter eggs is pagan in origin, as eggs were often a symbol of fertility and birth.[3]
  • New York City's Easter Parade came into a gradual existence in the early 20th century, when thousands of people started to gather on Easter Sunday to watch as the wealthy promenaded down Fifth Avenue to show off their new Easter fashions.[2]
  • Lutherans, Quakers, and several other Protestant denominations have officially denounced the incorporation of Easter traditions involving Easter eggs or the Easter bunny because of their pagan origins.[3]
  • Lamb, which was often used in Jewish sacrificial rites, is a traditional dish for Easter dinner, commemorating the sacrifice of Jesus, who is referred to as "the Lamb of God."[3]
  • For 350 years, the city of Florence, Italy, has celebrated Easter with the "Scoppio del Carro"—a cart that is packed with fireworks, paraded through the streets, and parked in front of the cathedral, where it is lit by the Archbishop.[2]
  • Fun Easter Facts
    Rabbits and eggs are both symbols of fertility and life
  • The tradition of the Easter Bunny most likely began in the 1700s among German immigrants in America.[3]
  • The Easter Rising was an insurrection led by Irish nationalists against the British government on Easter Monday of 1916. The rebellion and the executions that followed eventually led to the creation of the Republic of Ireland on Easter Monday of 1949.[4]
  • The Irish nationalist rebellion, known as the Easter Rising, resulted in the deaths of around 450 people and wounding of over 2,500 more, most of them Irish.[5]
  • The Moravia Church in Germany first began the tradition of a Sunrise Service on Easter Day in 1732. The tradition is meant to remind church-goers of Mary Magdalene, who is said to have first discovered that Jesus' tomb was empty, around dawn, three days after Jesus was crucified.[2]
  • In the month leading up to Easter, Catholics in America engage in a practice known as the Stations of the Cross, during which participants imitate a pilgrimage through 14 sites relating to Jesus' crucifixion.[2]
  • During the 16th century, the town of Oberammergau, Germany, made a vow to perform a Passion Play—in which the sufferings and death of Jesus Christ are narrated through a dramatic performance—every decade, in return for protection from the Plague. According to reports, the death rate was significantly reduced after the first play, and the town has continued to keep their vow to this day.[2]
  • Although lamb's religious significance makes it a feature of many Easter dinners, many families serve ham instead—most likely because, on farms, pigs were slaughtered in the fall, smoked for several months, and served in the spring.[2]
  • It used to be traditional to paint Easter eggs yellow, blue, or red: yellow to symbolize the Resurrection of Christ, blue to indicate love, and red as a reminder of the blood Jesus shed.[2]
  • When they met on Easter morning, early Christians would greet each other by saying, "Alleluia! Christ is Risen!" The traditional response for this was "He is truly risen!"[7]
  • Easter Sunday
    Jesus is believed to have descended into hell during the space between his death and resurrection, there to free the souls of all the righteous from damnation

  • Cadbury eggs were first introduced as an Easter confection in Europe in 1875.[2]
  • Although jelly beans were first sold in America at the end of the 19th century, they weren't incorporated into the Easter candy roster until the 1930s.[2]
  • When Peeps, Easter marshmallow treats, were first created in the 1950s, it took 27 hours to make a single chick.[2]
  • According to the company that makes them, around one-third of all Peeps sold are used for decoration rather than consumption.[2]
  • Wearing new Sunday clothing for Easter has been a tradition among Christians since the early days of the original church.[2]
  • Easter Bunny
    It just tastes better that way
  • According to a recent survey, three out of four Americans eat their chocolate Easter bunny's ears first.[2]
  • An English superstition held that Hot Cross Buns baked on Good Friday, the Friday before Easter, would never mold and could be hung as a good-luck charm, given to sailors to ensure their safe return, or even buried among stored grain to keep rodents at bay.[2]
  • Egg tapping, a game where people knock two eggs together until one cracks, was first played during the Easter festival in Medieval Poland.[2]
  • President Rutherford B. Hayes began the annual tradition of inviting children to roll Easter eggs down the White House lawn in 1878.[2]
  • President Ulysses S. Grant signed a bill that banned children from playing Easter games on Capitol Hill.[2]
  • Bermuda celebrates Easter with a kite-flying festival on Good Friday.[2]
  • The town of Bessières, France, celebrates Easter by making a giant omelette that contains around 15,000 eggs and is cooked in a frying pan that is over 13 feet in diameter.[2]
  • Historians surmise that rabbits came to be associated with Easter because of the holiday's connection to fertility rituals and the animal's reputation for high fertility.[8]
  • Protestant Reformer Martin Luther is said to have organized Easter egg hunts where men hid eggs for women and children to find.[8]
  • In Scotland, Easter egg hunts had a practical purpose: children were sent to find eggs that would then be used for making the holiday breakfast.[8]
  • The world's largest chocolate bunny was made in 2017 in Brazil, where it took 9 chocolate professionals over a week to make the13-foot-tall, 10-pound sculpture.[6]
  • Fun Easter INFOGRAPHIC
    Easter Infographic Thumbnail

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