In 2008, Easter is falling earlier in the year -- on March 23 -- than those of us alive now have ever seen. In western Christianity, Easter is always celebrated on the Sunday immediately following the full moon. The next time Easter will be this early will be 220 years from now.
The one universal symbol of Easter celebrations throughout the world is the Easter egg. From very early times, an egg has been considered an important symbol of rebirth. The custom of giving eggs has been traced back to Egyptians, Persians, Gauls, Greeks, and Romans, to whom the egg was a symbol of life.
The most famous decorated Easter eggs were those made by the well-known goldsmith Peter Carl Faberge. In Russia in 1885, Tsar Alexander the Third commissioned Faberge to make a special Easter gift for his wife, the Empress Maria, and soon Faberge eggs were considered to be exquisite gifts commemorating the Easter holiday to the Russian royal family. Today, Faberge eggs are priceless masterpieces that are considered very rare and precious. And, of course, eggs have now been embellished, dyed, painted, and adorned for the Easter holiday for many, many years.