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					                                  Easter in the United States
                                         Reading Comprehension

         Easter is a holiday celebrated around the world in the spring. Although it is traditionally a
religious holiday, in the United States, there are many modern Easter customs that are secular. This
means they have nothing to do with religion.

         In the United States, the secular tradition of the Easter Bunny is very popular. The Easter Bunny
is a rabbit who brings children eggs and other treats for Easter. Sometimes he puts them in the
children’s Easter baskets and sometimes he hides them around the house and yard for children to find.

         The Easter Bunny comes from an old German tradition of a hare (another word for rabbit) who
laid eggs into nests at Easter. This tradition probably comes from the fact that rabbits breed in the
spring, and are therefore a symbol of the season and of fertility. Eggs are another symbol of spring and
new life. Also, during the fasting of Lent, most people couldn’t eat eggs, so the eggs had to be hard-
boiled, saved, and eaten very quickly on Easter, when the fast of Lent was finally finished.

         Nowadays, children usually make Easter Baskets, which look like the traditional birds’ nests
where the Easter Bunny put eggs. Another common modern activity is to hard-boil eggs and then
decorate them with dye and paint. Children usually do this the day before Easter and their parents will
either put the eggs in their Easter Baskets on the night before Easter, or will hide the eggs for their
children to find. Sometimes they also hide chocolate, or a fruit-flavored candy, shaped like an egg, called
jelly beans. When children have to search for their Easter treats, it is called an Easter Egg Hunt.

        Other secular Easter customs in the United States include giving cards to friends and family
using Easter colors and pictures of Easter animals. Easter colors are usually pastel: lighter versions of
regular colors. Easter animals include bunnies, chicks, and ducklings.

                                         Comprehension Questions

1. When is Easter celebrated?

2. In the United States, is Easter a religious or secular holiday?

3. Who is the Easter Bunny and what does he do?

4. Where does the idea of the Easter Bunny come from?

5. Why do people eat eggs at Easter?

6. What sort of activities do people do to celebrate Easter?

7. What type of things do people eat on Easter?

8. What does an Easter card look like?

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