Easter Sunday is celebrated around the world in March or April. It is considered a Christian holiday, but it is also celebrated by non-religious families.
How do you celebrate Easter?
In the springtime, shops in many parts of the world are filled with chocolate rabbits and egg-shaped candies. Children hunt for eggs hidden by the Easter Bunny.
These customs can be traced to ancient religious rites that welcomed back the sun-god after the long winter.
The rabbit or hare was associated with the moon - and the dates of the feast were determined by the phase of the moon. Ancient myths concerning eggs and the gifting of colored eggs are common in many cultures.
As is the case with many celebrations, the traditions of other religions were adopted and adapted by the Christian Church beginning in the second and third centuries A.D.
Ancient festivals to returning sun-gods were altered to celebrate the death and resurrection, or coming back to life of Jesus.
Today, these Easter traditions are central to the beliefs of many Christian denominations.
Where did the name Easter come from?
According to English historian Venerable Bede, the name was based on the "Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, Eostre, whose festival was celebrated" at the same time of year as the resurrection of the Christ.
Her symbols were the rabbit and the egg.
This collection of easy holiday drawing guides includes images of both the rabbit and egg traditions and those related to the Virgin Mary, the Messiah, and church-going.
Which symbols will take prominence at your festivities?
Rabbits and eggs were symbols of the European fertility goddess, Eostre, for whom Easter is named. Today, legends say that the Easter Bunny lays colorful eggs filled with candy and treats for good children to find.
Though no one knows exactly what Jesus looked like - cameras had not yet been invented when he walked the earth - he is often depicted as wearing robes and with a halo of light around his head in Medieval European art.
Children use Easter baskets to collect the colored eggs and other goodies found during an Easter egg hunt. Each year, an Easter Egg Roll is held at the White House in the United States. Children bring their own eggs in a basket.
Much medieval artwork and even modern necklaces depict Jesus as dying upon a cross. Sometimes, he is drawn on a single pole with his hands above his head - a common method of execution in ancient Rome.
White lilies representing purity are frequent Easter gifts and decorations. Interestingly, most lilies bloom in the summer, not the spring - Easter lilies must be of an early-blooming variety or induced to bloom early in a greenhouse.