Sunday the 8th of April 2012 is the date to celebrate the Easter festival in most parts of the world. The Eastern Orthodox Church will celebrate Easter a week later, on the 15th April.
For this year's easter graphic I have drawn an egg with two blank spaces so you can add easter messages, turn them into greetings cards, name cards or any thing you can think off. This easter image was drawn by me and is entirely free for non commercial use. Click on the easter egg image for a larger version for you to print out.
We have drawn some Easter clipart for you. You can use this free of charge on all non-commercial projects as you see fit.
This goes back to Roman times. Remember that Easter is a spring festival with non-christian roots. Locally the growing chritian churches superimposed their new Easter celebrations on top of local festivals and these were not all on the same date. The eggs and hares are an obvious hangover from pagan fertility festivals and have nothing whatsoever to do with the crucifiction of Jesus.
In 325AD, the Emperor Constantine wanted to impose some order on the Christian church and arranged a famous council at Nicea (its in Turkey) to agree important doctrinal matters. They chose to always celebrate Easter on the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox. However, not all the early Christian communities attended Nicea and some, such as the Eastern Orthodox church continued with their own traditions and have done so to this day.
Easter marks the end of 40 days of fasting known as Lent. Easter itself commemorates the crucifiction and ressurection of Jesus and so church services focus on this event (the most important story in christianity) at this period. Themes of redemtion, renewal and the power of hope are particularly prevelent in many Easter Sermons. Roman Catholics look forward to the annual address from St. Peter's in Rome by the Pope.