As the Easter holiday approaches, questions arise about the starting point for the unusual pairing of colored eggs and a giant bunny.

Celebrations for the Christian holiday vary throughout the world. Activities include coloring eggs, Easter egg hunts and goodie baskets.

Colored eggs first appeared in the 13th century. The Catholic Church dominated religious practices during this time, and in celebration of “Holy Week,” the Church banned the consumption of eggs.

As chickens continued to lay eggs, they were called “Holy Week” eggs, which brought about their decoration. The egg symbolizes new life as Jesus Christ was resurrected from the grave.

Easter Bunny

Easter Bunny. Photo credit: Unsplash

The infamous Easter bunny, who fills enthusiastic children’s baskets with goodies and decorates eggs, is not actually a bunny for the rest of the world. In Switzerland, he is a cuckoo. In Westphalia, he is a fox. In other parts of Germany, he is a rooster.

The bunny was introduced to America in the 1700s by German immigrants who shared stories of an egg-laying hare. Much like many international customs, America adopted the story and further commercialized it to include candy and Easter egg hunts.

“The glorious message of Easter morning is central to all Christianity,” said Elder S. Mark Palmer, of the Seventy. Jesus Christ has risen from the dead, and because of this, we too will live again after we die. This knowledge gives meaning and purpose to our lives.”

The tomb of Jesus

The tomb of Jesus Photo credit: Unsplash

Ultimately, the true beginning of Easter began with Jesus Christ when He performed the Atonement. His death on the cross and suffering in Gethsemane enabled Him to experience all the pains, temptations and sins of the world, both retroactively and to come.