What is Easter?

Have you ever heard the expression “putting all your eggs in one basket”? This saying has a connection with the Easter holiday—but not for the reason you’re probably thinking!

Around this time of year, you’ll see lots of bunny rabbits, baskets, and plastic eggs in American stores, but the real story of Easter dates all the way back to the year A.D. 30.

Let’s go back in time to ancient Israel. We’re in the city of Jerusalem. All friends, family members, and followers of someone named Jesus Christ were heartbroken because they’d just watched Jesus suffer a horrible death on a cross and be buried. These people had “put all their eggs in one basket”– in other words, they had put all their hope in Jesus, believing he was the promised Savior; when he died, all their hopes died with him. 

But the story didn’t end there! The Bible tells us that three days after he was buried, Jesus Christ came back to life and appeared to all his followers. Can you imagine their joy? That joy and restored hope is what Christians celebrate on Easter every year. The holiday is a very happy one as Christians remember that Jesus not only died to save them from their sins, but he also defeated death so that anyone who believes in him can also have everlasting life.

Over the years, especially in America, Easter has become more about candy and egg hunts than about Jesus’s resurrection; however, a lot of the objects and images associated with the holiday still connect to the original story from the Bible. Eggs, for example, are a symbol of the new life that Jesus gives to people who believe in him. Even empty plastic eggs represent the tomb that was empty after Jesus rose from the dead. You might see flowers around Easter as well, especially one called the Easter lily, which is the color white and symbolizes Jesus’s pure nature.

But what’s up with the bunny rabbits, you might ask? People aren’t exactly sure, but some say it was introduced through German immigrants who came to the U.S. in the 1700s. They had a tradition where children made nests for a bunny rabbit called “Osterhase” to lay colored eggs in. Like eggs and flowers, bunny rabbits are also another symbol of spring and new life, which is probably why the Easter Bunny character became a popular holiday tradition to include.

Another thing you might notice once you’ve been in the U.S. for a while is that the date of Easter changes every year. It’s observed on the first Sunday after the full moon that follows the spring equinox, and if you think that’s confusing, you’re not alone! All you need to know is that Easter can fall anytime between March 22 and April 25. Some years it’s earlier and other years it’s later, but whenever it happens, this holiday is always a reminder of springtime, of new life and growth, and of the hope that followers of Jesus have in his resurrection.

So whether you’ll be going to church on Easter or enjoying a meal with an American family (or just eating too much chocolate!), we at IFI hope you’ll remember that you are loved.

Happy Easter! 💛




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