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[[File:Ostara by Johannes Gehrts.jpg|thumbnail|left|Figure 1. The goddess Eostre, whose name may have led to the term Easter developing in Germanic languages. ]]
Easter is the most important event in the Christian calendar, as it reflects the resurrection (and thus salvation offered) by Christ for all those who accept him. While this is true to many Christians today, the story of Easter is complex and it is a period of celebration that is very ancient, having origins from pre-Christian periods. As with many other holidays, the early Catholic church often combined pre-Christian traditions and Christian ideals to make it easier for conversion and facilitate the rise of Christianity.
The importance of the spring equinox could not be understated, given the importance of agriculture. For the early Christian church, the time of the Passover was seen as the most important period in the Christian calendar. The importance of Passover, falling near the time of the pagan spring celebrations, may have influenced the Church to decide in 325 AD, in the Council of Nicaea, to have Easter fall on the Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox.