Easter is celebrated worldwide by Christian culture and is symbolic of resurrection. Secular culture places its focus firmly on the spring and the equinox, however, dive a bit deeper and its origins are pagan, a festival celebrating spring. It would seem that the early Christians simply appropriated some of the ancient pagan rituals still celebrated today.
The Easter story, for example, is a tale of the death and rebirth of a son (sun) on a cross (this also relates to the constellation known as the Southern Cross) and his resurrection, where he overcame the powers of darkness (winter) celebrated in the Northern hemisphere.
Many accounts of the resurrection and rebirth have been recorded; the Egyptian God Horus’s damaged eye symbolises life and rebirth and was coincidently born on 25 December; Ishtar, a Sumerian goddess, was hung naked on a stake, then resurrected and was said to have ascended from the underworld. Mithras was also born on what we now call Christmas day, his followers also celebrated the Spring Equinox.
Dig deeper still and there are even more parallels, especially with some lighter-hearted traditions. For example, hot cross buns are symbolic of Jesus's death on the cross, but these buns also have pre-Christian origins; they were baked in celebration of Eoestre, a Germanic goddess of fertility. Easter eggs (new life) and a baby rabbit which was her symbol, and her name are the inspiration for the Easter festival.
Whatever Easter symbolises for you, from the deep symbolism of Catholicism, a Christian Sunrise service or a celebration of the sun's birth and spring, I think we can agree that somewhere in this world, we are all celebrating renewal and all the blessings that ensue.
“Is the spring coming?’ he said. ‘What is it like?’…’It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”