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Easter symbols

Many traditional symbols of Easter are related to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Date of Easter

Prior to A.D. 325, Easter was variously celebrated on different days of the week, including Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. In that year, the Council of Nicaea was convened by emperor Constantine. It issued the Easter Rule which states that Easter shall be celebrated on the first Sunday that occurs after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox. However, a caveat must be introduced here. The "full moon" in the rule is the ecclesiastical full moon, which is defined as the fourteenth day of a tabular lunation, where day 1 corresponds to the ecclesiastical New Moon.

The Cross

An ox was ritually sacrificed at the feast of Eastre – the ox’s horns were carved into the sacred bread, hence ‘hot cross buns. The cross was also meant to represent the moon and its four quarters. Later, the symbol of a symmetrical cross was used to decorate the buns.The Cross is the symbol of the Crucifixion, as opposed to the Resurrection. However, at the Council of Nicaea, in A.D. 325, Constantine decreed that the Cross was the official symbol of Christianity.

Easter eggs and Bunnies

As with the Easter Bunny and the holiday itself, the Easter Egg predates the Christian holiday of Easter. The exchange of eggs in the springtime is a custom that was centuries old when Easter was first celebrated by Christians.

Easter bunny is also a significant Easter symbol as it represents fertility. The story goes that the Easter bunny used to lay eggs for the children to find.