Easter is the principal festival of the Christian church year, celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his Crucifixion. Britanicca Encyclopaedia 2002 Deluxe Edition says, “The English name Easter is of uncertain origin; the Anglo-Saxon priest Venerable Bede in the 8th century derived it from the Anglo-Saxon spring goddess Eostre.” But many practices associated withEaster festival go to prove more connections with Pagan beliefs. Millions of eggs and egg-shaped replicas are being bought, decorated, given as gifts and happily eaten every Easter. Why the egg? To understand the egg’s prominent place in East er celebrations we need to go far back in history to the origins of the festival. The name Easter is derived from Eostre, the ancient Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring and fertility whose rebirth after the dark northern winter was heralded by feasting, bon-fires and various rituals involving the egg. The Anglo-Saxons believed Eostre was reincarnated in the form of a hare, since it was widely believed that when hunted, the hare would sacrifice itself so its offspring could escape. The cute little Easter bunny that today pops up on greetings cards or in chocolate shops is a survivor of those beliefs. In former Yugoslavia, children still design nests for hares in their gardens and next morning find brightly painted eggs deposited there. In Germany and Hungary children carry baskets decorated with painted hares, in which they collect chocolate eggs and other small gifts on Easter Sundays. While the Anglo-Saxons were wrong in assuming hares hatched from eggs, they were right in associating eggs with Spring renewal.