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Easter is an important religious holiday in the Christian year. Modern-day Easter comes from two ancient traditions: one Judeo-Christian and the other Pagan. Both Christians and Pagans have celebrated death and resurrection themes after the Spring Equinox for thousands of years. Most religious historians believe that many elements of the Christian observance of Easter were derived from earlier Pagan celebrations.
Religiously, Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus, which Christians believe happened on the 3rd day after his crucifixion. Easter also refers to the season of the church year called "Eastertide" or the Easter Season. Historically, the Easter Season lasted for 40 days from Easter Day until Ascension Day. However, the season now officially lasts for the 50 days until Pentecost. The first week of the Easter Season is known as 'Easter Week' or the 'Octave of Easter'.
Easter falls between late March and late April every year, following the lunar cycle. Easter is termed as a movable Christian holiday for this reason. Today, many families celebrate Easter in a completely secular way, as a non-religious holiday. Children collect Easter baskets, color and hunt for Easter eggs, and people dress in pastel-colored Easter scrubs.
Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover for much of its symbolism as well as its position in the calendar. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, "In fact, the Jewish feast was taken over into the Christian Easter celebration."