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Date Published 27 March 2024

Easter is celebrated by Christians as a joyous holiday because it represents the fulfilment of the prophecies of the Old Testament. The earliest recorded observance of an Easter celebration comes from the 2nd century and in 325 the Council of Nicaea decreed that Easter should be observed on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the spring (March 21). Notably,
Easter is also associated with the Jewish holiday of Passover.
In western Christianity, including Roman Catholicism and Protestant, the period prior to Easter holds special significance. This period of fasting and penitence is called Lent. It begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts for 40 days (not including Sundays).

Eggs are associated with eaters as they represent new life and rebirth, and it's thought that this ancient custom became a part of Easter celebrations. In the medieval period, eating eggs was forbidden during Lent (the 40 days before Easter) so on Easter Sunday, tucking into an egg was a real reward. Lamb is also a traditional Easter food. Christians often refer to Jesus as the 'Lamb of God,' though lamb at Easter also has roots in early Passover celebrations as well. The first English chocolate egg was sold by Fry's in 1873, and Cadbury's quickly followed them, introducing their own chocolate egg in 1875.

Today's Easter traditions come from a blend of Christian themes and ancient celebrations. Easter decorations such as eggs, bunnies, and sweets are all pre-Christian spring symbols.