Quiz: How Much Do You Know about Easter?

Some of the things we still do today have their roots in ancient -- and sometimes pagan -- traditions.

For better or worse, Easter rivals Christmas when it comes to celebrating the religious as much as the secular. But just how much do you know about Easter eggs, Easter candy and other traditions?

Take our quiz and find out...

1. Why are lilies associated with Easter?

2. What do you have to do on Easter in order to ensure good luck in the coming year?

3. In the song "Here Comes Peter Cottontail," what is the Easter Bunny bringing for Tommy and his sister Sue?

4. Where does the tradition of Easter eggs come from?

5. When was the first Easter egg roll held on the lawn of the White House?

6. How much do Americans spend on Easter candy and how much do they consume?

7. Why do some European countries burn Easter fires?

8. Why do people of the Greek Orthodox faith paint their Easter eggs red?

9. How did hot cross buns come to be associated with Easter?

10. How did hard-boiled eggs come to be associated with Easter?



1. Because its petals face downward, which is said to be honor of Jesus.

2. Wear a new piece of clothing. Thus came the practice of purchasing new Easter bonnets -- women would buy them to comply with the tradition.

3. In the song, derived from the Beatrix Potter books and made famous by singer Gene Autry, Tommy is going to get jelly beans and his sister will receive colored eggs.

4. Germany, where the Osterhaas -- Easter hare -- delivers colored eggs. Children build nests, sometimes using hats, to hold their bounty. In this country, Easter baskets used to be made to look like nests. Also, the hare was replaced by the bunny because they represent fertility and fruitfulness.

5. President Rutherford B. Hayes started the tradition in 1878 using real eggs. In 1981, the White House began using keepsake wooden eggs. This year's version bears a portrait of the Obama family's dog Bo.

6. We spend about $2 billion on Easter candy every year, translating into about 7.1 billion pounds of chocolate and other sweets.

7. It's a pre-Christian tradition that's been incorporated into the religious holiday because it represents fertility both figurartively and literally. The ashes blow into the fields, helping to fertilize the soil. Some communities will burn effigies of Judas Iscariot, the man who betrayed Jesus.

8. It represents both the blood of Jesus and his victory over death. In the faith, the color is a symbol of the renewal of life.

9. They're a carryover from the pagan celebration of Oester, from which the word Easter is derived. The cross is originally thought to represent the four stages of the moon but its meaning was later changed to represent Jesus' crucifixion.

10. When Christians fasted during Lent, they were prohibited from eating eggs. Those that were laid during Lent were often boiled to prevent them from spoiling and then used to break the fast on Easter.

Sources: www.whitehouse.gov, www.purpletrail.com, www.theholidayspot.com, www.wikipedia.com


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