Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel
On April 14, 2001, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported that many of the customs with which people celebrate Easter have their origins in "ancient earth traditions." Second-century Christian missionaries found that pagan springtime celebrations occurred at the same time of year as Christianity celebrated the resurrection of Christ. The missionaries "cleverly decided to spread their religious message slowly throughout the populations by allowing them to continue to celebrate ancient feasts, but in a Christian manner." The name "Easter" comes from ancient goddesses of springtime. Other traditions which have survived this transition include "veneration of rabbits and hares" and decoration of eggs, which were fertility symbols dedicated to the goddess Isis in Egypt.