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Easter: 2nd Century, Rome
Easter, which in the Christian faith commemorates the Resurrection of Christ and consequently is the most sacred of all holy days.

The Christian missionaries astutely observed that the centuries-old festival or T Eastre, commemorated at the start of spring, coincided with the time of year of their own observance of the miracle of the Resurrection of Christ. Thus, the Resurrection was subsumed under the protective rubric Eastre (later spelled Easter), saving the lives of countless Christians.

For several decades, Easter was variously celebrated on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Finally, in A.D. 325, the Council of Nicaea, convened by the emperor Constantine, issued the so-called Easter Rule: Easter should be celebrated on “the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox.” Consequently, Easter is astronomically bound never to fall earlier than March 22 or later than April 25.

The rabbit, or more accurately a hare, became a holiday symbol can be traced to the origin of the word “Easter.” According to the Venerable Bede, the English historian who lived from 672 to 735, the goddess Eastre was worshiped by the Anglo-Saxons through her earthly symbol, the hare.

The custom of the Easter hare came to American with the Germans who immigrated to Pennsylvania in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It was not until after the Civil War, with its legacy of death and destruction, that the nation as a whole began a widespread observance of Easter itself, led primarily by Presbyterians. They viewed the story of resurrection as a source of inspiration and renewed hope for the millions of bereaved Americans.
Only within the last century were chocolate and candy eggs exchanged as Easter gifts. But the springtime exchanging of real eggs - white, coloured, and gold-leafed. From earliest times, and in most cultures, the egg signified birth and resurrection.

The Romans coined a proverb: Omne vivum ex ovo, “All alife comes from an egg.” And legend has it that Simon of Cyrene, who helped carry Christ’s cross to Calvary, was by trade an egg merchant. (Upon returning from the crucifixion to his produce farm, he allegedly discovered that all his hens’ eggs had miraculously turned a rainbow of colours; substantive evidence for this legend is weak). Thus, when the Church started to celebrate the Resurrection, in the second century, it did not have to search far for an easily recognisable symbol.
Traditionally eaten at Easter, the twice-scored biscuits were first baked by the Saxons in honour of Eastre. The word “bun” itself derives from boun, Saxon for “sacred ox,” for an ox was sacrificed at the Eastre festival, and the image of its horns was carved into the celebratory cakes.

Early church fathers, to compete with the pagan custom of baking ox-marked cakes, used a numerous celebrations, baked their own version, employing the dough used for the consecrated host. Reinterpreting the ox-horn image as a crucifix, they distributed the somewhat-familiar-looking buns to new converts attending mass. In this way, they accomplished three objectives: Christianised a pagan cake; gave the people a treat they were accustomed to; and subtly scored the buns with an image that, though decidedly Catholic, at a distance would not dangerously label the bearer “Christian.” The most desirable image on today’s hot cross buns in neither an ox horn nor a cross, but broad smears of glazed frosting.
The heaviest Easter egg on record, and also the tallest, was one weighing 4.76 tonnes , 7.1m high, made by staff of Cadbury Red Tulip at their factory at Ringwood, Victoria, Australia, It was completed on 9 Apr. 1992
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