Kitty Lindsay
Updated Apr 16, 2017 @ 3:53 pm
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Credit: Instagram / https://www.instagram.com/heygirlfield/

Every April, people the world over bite the ears off of milk chocolate bunnies, throw egg-dyeing parties, and hide plastic, jelly bean-filled eggs in their backyards for their children to find and fight over. And there’s that whole religious component, too (in case you’d forgotten!). But what does it all mean? And why the heck is Easter called Easter?

Well, don’t tell your mom we told you this, but it ain’t all about Jesus. Like most major holidays, Easter’s roots dig deep into the study of the Earth and the changing of the seasons. In the beginning, “Easter” was known simply as a celebration of the arrival of spring, falling on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the spring equinox.

Recognizing a poetic parallel between the Earth’s annual rebirth — and reemergence of plant and animal life — and the story of Jesus’ resurrection, Christianity chose to combine the two celebrations into one. (That’s why the date of Easter Sunday changes every year!)