Whether you believe it or not Easter in the beginning was a pagan festival. During the spring, the Saxons celebrated the return of spring with a festival in which they commemorated their goddess of offspring of the springtime. This goddess was known as Ostara or Eostre. She was the Anglo-Saxon Goddess of Spring, the East, Resurrect1ion, and Rebirth. Our modern day Easter is derived from the name of Eostre and the celebrations that we join in are also associated with this pagan festival. </SPAN>
The Anglo-Saxons during the festival offered colored eggs to her at what was called the Vernal Equinox. They placed these multi-colored eggs at graves the Egyptians and Greeks were also know to place eggs at gravesites. This was a sign of re-birth. Through legends, the name of both Goddesses Ostara and Eostre played a part in the Easter that we know today. Eostre was said to have been a playful goddess that would rule over the earth beginning when the Sun King traveled across the sky in chariot marking the end of winter. Ostara came to earth after the Sun King rode and appeared as a beautiful maiden that carried with her a basket of colorful eggs. Ostara had a magical companion. A white rabbit that traveled with her to bring life back to dying plants and flowers and hiding colorful eggs in the fields. </SPAN>
There is one myth centered on Ostara that proclaims that she found a bird that was dying of the cold weather and she changed the bird into a rabbit so it would stay warm. Legend has it this is where the Easter bunny originated, but it also could have been from the magical companion of Ostara that traveled with her on her journey to bring life back to the earth.</SPAN>
When the Christian missionaries encountered the various tribes with their own beliefs and attempted to convert them to Christianity, they did so in a manner not to disturb their celebrations. If the Christians had tried to stop all pagan celebrations, it would have been certain death. To spread their Christian beliefs, they decided to allow them to celebrate their pagan festival in a somewhat Christian manner. Since, their pagan spring festival was during the same time that the Christians observed the Resurrection of Christ; it was easier to change this into a Christian celebration. The people were won over through time and endurance. </SPAN>
Easter, prior to A.D. 325 was celebrated on different days of the week. However, during the year of 325 AD, the council of the Nicaea issued the Easter Rule, which proclaims that Easter will be celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon or after the vernal equinox. In essence, Easter must be celebrated on a Sunday between March 22 and April 25. Easter was not celebrated in America until after the Civil War.</SPAN></SPAN>
The month of the government of Canada's fiscal year end (March 31), when departments traditionally rush to spend the remainder of their budgets in order that they not experience budget reductions the next year. This usage was apparently the origin of the uses for basketball.