Easter is a Christian holiday celebrated by believers throughout the Western world. According to the Bible, Jesus Christ was crucified on Good Friday. He then rose from the dead two days later on Easter Sunday, also called Easter Day. In fact, Easter has become so rooted in Western culture that many people participate in Easter activities regardless of whether they're Christian or not.

Parents often give their children delicious chocolate eggs or arrange Easter egg hunts in the garden. (These eggs, the children are told, were hidden there by a magical rabbit called the Easter Bunny.) Sometimes villages will even hold egg-rolling competitions, with eggs being rolled downhill in a race. In Greece, eggs are dyed red to symbolize the blood of Christ, while in some Eastern European countries, they are painted with intricate and beautiful designs.

Many of these Easter traditions, however, predate Christianity. There is some evidence to suggest that the ancient tribes of Northern Europe celebrated the coming of spring by worshiping their fertility goddess, Eostre. The rabbit, or hare, was her symbol because these creatures were known to be particularly fertile. Eggs were also once a common symbol of spring because they symbolized new life. Now, though, they symbolize the empty tomb of Christ.

The forty-day period that leads up to Easter is called Lent, a period of self-discipline, prayer, and contemplation. During this time, some strict Christian groups swear off any kind of animal products. More relaxed believers, on the other hand, simply give up one or two beloved items of food, such as cakes or candy. Either way, because it marks the end of this period of disciplined eating, Easter is a time of feasting and celebration. It's no surprise, then, that in the United Sates, Easter is arguably the most candy-crazed holiday of the year. More than $2 billion is spent annually on goods such as chocolate bunnies, marshmallow chicks, and jelly beans!





復活節前40 天被稱為大齋期,人們會自我約束、禱告並冥想。在這期間,一些恪守戒律的基督教團體會完全禁食肉類;另一方面,較不嚴謹的教徒只會戒掉一或兩樣喜歡吃的食物,像是蛋糕或糖果。不管如何,由於復活節代表這段禁食時間的結束,因此是饗宴與狂歡的時刻。這也難怪在美國,復活節可被稱為一年當中人們對糖果最感到瘋狂的節日,每年都有超過20 億美元被花在購買巧克力兔、棉花糖小雞和雷根糖。




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