is the celebration of 'The crucifixion and resurrection' of the Jewish sectarian leader/teacher, Jesus.
Although remaining strictly within the guidelines of Judaism, Jesus taught of a more compassionate God and a more caring way of life and as a result was able to build a large following.
As His influence increased, His teachings put the privileges and powers of the more orthodox priests, that the ancient system had granted, at some risk.
From the early days of his ministry, therefore, the religious leaders were determined to get rid of Him.
In the third year of His ministry, according to His normal practice of attending all of the religious festivals in Jerusalem, Jesus visited the temple for Passover. Believing that the end was near He appeared to deliberately provoke the priests to take action.
Through what is claimed to be the treachery of Judas Iscariot, He was quietly arrested after praying in the Garden of Gethsemane and an illegal trial held.
On the morning of the feast the religious authorities demanded that Pontius Pilot authorise His crucifixion.
He refused until the High Priests threatened to denounce him to the Emperor, Tiberious.
Jesus was crucified on Mount Calvary in A.D. 29 or 30.
It is claimed that He rose again after his body had been three days in the tomb and appeared to the eleven disciples for some forty days after the crucifixion until, at Bethany, on the Mount of Olives, He finally Blessed them and 'was taken to heaven.'
Although the Priests initially believed that they had rid themselves of their problem, we see today, some 2000 years after the event, that His martyrdom had allowed His teachings to reach thousands of millions of people in every corner of the globe.
more about Easter
The Jewish Passover
Easter, A Pagan Ritual?
Beginning in about the 4th century AD, Easter commemorates the Death and rebirth of Jesus.
It is, in many parts, considered to be the reshaping of old pagan rituals celebrating the coming of Spring and the 'rebirth' following the 'death' of Winter.
This is why we use such symbols as 'The Easter Bunny', a prolific breeder and the 'Easter Egg' , a symbol of new life.
This is not to suggest, by the way, that the stories of the life of Jesus are false but shows the importance, in the early days of the Church, of utilising familiar festivals to more successfully spread the Word of Jesus.