Easter wasn't always a christian holiday, it started as a pagan festival. The ancient Saxons celebrated the start of spring with a festival commemorating their goddess of springtime, Eastre. Second century Christian missionaries attempted to convert the pagans, but had to do so tactfully. The Christians cleverly decided to introduce their religion slowly, while allowing Pagan feasts to continue. The festival of Eastre occurred around the same time as the Christian observance of the resurrection of Christ. This would be a perfect opportunity for the missionaries to alter the meaning of the festival slowly until the Pagans were won over. The celebration would eventually change names to the modern spelling, Easter.
Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday that occurs after the first full moon, on or after the vernal equinox (March 21st).
The Easter Bunny
The hare and the rabbit are animals known for being extremely fertile, and are a symbol of spring and new life. Early German settlers brought the idea of the Easter bunny to America, and the idea that she would lay a nest of colored eggs. Children would build nests around their houses, in the barn or in the garden. Boys would use their caps and girls would use their bonnets. Eventually these nests evolved into elaborate Easter baskets.