According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the proper definition of Easter is: "a feast that commemorates Christ's resurrection and is observed with variations of date due to different calendars on the first Sunday after the paschal full moon." However, for Christians like me, that definition has so much more meaning.
Easter is the time to spend with family. The time where you go to the Easter Vigil at your local parish, the time to have a big dinner, the time just to be happy. Easter has different meanings for different people based on their ages.
Children usually refer to Easter as the time the Easter Bunny comes and leaves them an Easter basket filled with treats, presents, and other goodies, like marshmallow chicks, jellybeans, and chocolate bunnies: this represents the commercialized aspect of Easter. Kids also see Easter as a time for dyeing eggs, having an egg hunt, and playing outside in the warm Spring weather. Also, the traditional Easter Bunny picture taken at the mall is indispensable.
When you become older, the Easter Bunny pictures become more and more scarce. Young Adult and Adult Christians start to relate Easter to its actual importance: Jesus' Resurrection from the dead. Probably functioning as Christianity's most important holiday, Easter is referred to by some as the "movable feast;" it is not celebrated on the same day every single year. Christian churches celebrate Easter on the first Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox on March 21. Easter then is observed anywhere between March 22 and April 25 each year. Orthodox Christians use the Julian calendar to decide when to celebrate Easter, usually celebrating it one or two weeks after the Western churches, which follow the Gregorian calendar.
Easter is the time we all take to remember what Jesus and God do for us. God sent his only son to us, and that son eventually died for us, to protect us from sin. Jesus had never sinned, but he knows that everyone sins even though he himself never did. We all sin when our actions or thoughts don't follow the rules God has set in place for us, ultimately displeasing God. When we sin, we are to be sentenced to an eternal life without God, but, because God loves us, He sent Jesus to give us a way to spend eternity in heaven with Him. Jesus died on the cross to take the punishment we should have gotten for our sins. Three days later, Jesus resurrected. If we believe and trust in Jesus to forgive us from our sins, we'll go to Heaven to be with Him when we die. This is what Easter is all about: remembering the sacrifices that were made for us, so that we can live happily and have the opportunity to go to Heaven. Easter is the time we remember Jesus died for our sins, resurrected, and is now waiting for us in eternal life in Heaven.
Easter is when the whole family gathers together to go to Mass, to eat, and to spend the day with one another. It provides us with an opportunity to unite, which we could not do if it wasn't for Jesus saving us all from sins. Jesus is the reason that we are able to be happy and that we have the opportunity to be in Heaven after we die. Easter is the time to remember that.
The Easter Bunny, the candy, and the excitement that is felt at Easter is only a small part of Easter and what it means for Christians. It is so easy to get lost in all the commotion of the commercial aspect of Easter, but we should never forget its true meaning: the remembrance of Jesus.