The story behind the moving date, eggs and bunnies of Easter

Kids all over Snohomish County will dash through parks, fields and lawns today searching every nook and cranny for Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies.

But have you ever stopped to wonder why that is?

1. The holiday

Easter, a Christian holiday, celebrates the belief that Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead after he was crucified by the Romans in roughly 30 A.D. The Bible says that Jesus’ death and resurrection happened around the time of the Jewish Passover, which was celebrated on the first full moon after the first day of spring.

This led to Christians celebrating Easter on different dates. The earliest possible Easter Sunday is March 22 and the latest is April 25.

2. The eggs

Eggs symbolize new life, fertility and rebirth in many cultures around the world. They’re a nod to Jesus’ resurrection or rebirth on Easter. Egg rolling, a game where children push an egg through the grass with a spoon, symbolizes the rolling away of the stone from Jesus’ tomb.

Eggs were traditionally dyed red to represent Jesus’ blood, but most today are decorated in bright, pastel colors to symbolize the coming of warmer and lighter days ahead.

Filling plastic eggs with candy is a modern addition to the celebration.

3. The bunny

The Bible does not mention rabbits, yet Easter bunnies are a prominent symbol of the holiday. Its origins are unclear, but the leading theory is it originated in the 1700s with German immigrants, who believed in an egg-laying hare called Oschter Haws, settling in Pennsylvania.

Today, the Easter Bunny delivers candy-filled plastic eggs in baskets.

— Evan Thompson, Herald writer

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