Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus, the most joyous occasion in Christianity. It also marks the end of Lent. The date of Easter varies each year but always falls between March 22 and April 25. The date is set by determining the Sunday following the full moon on or after the vernal equinox.
According to the Gospel of St. John and other scriptures, Mary Magdalen arrived at Jesus' tomb only to find it empty. An angel told her that Jesus had risen and ascended into heaven.
Many churches hold sunrise services on Easter Sunday to symbolize the return of light to the world after Jesus' resurrection. The day is observed with feasts and celebrations.
The name "Easter" reflects many pagan customs that are now associated with the holiday. Present day scholars accept St. Bede's theory that "Easter" is derived from the "Ostern" and "Ostra", Teutonic and Scandinavian goddess associated with spring and fertility. The Easter egg is an example of the pagan origins of Easter. Pagans believed that eggs symbolized earth being reborn each spring. Christianity adapted this custom to symbolize the rebirth of humanity. Easter eggs were first decorated in the late 13th century C. E. but the most famous eggs were created by Carl Faberge.