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How well do you know your Easter traditions and trivia? [Fort Worth Star-Telegram :: BC-HDY-EASTER-QUIZ:FT]

Easter is a time of contemplation and worship, and a time for eating chocolate bunnies and hunting colorful eggs.

For Christians, the holiday celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, which, according to the New Testament of the Bible, occurred three days after he was crucified. Long before it became a Christian holy day, though, Easter was a pagan tradition celebrating the arrival of spring - a time of renewal and fertility.

Like Christmas, Easter has for centuries been celebrated by Christians, pagans and secularists alike. Your traditions may include dyeing and hunting eggs, attending a sunrise church service and enjoying a hearty meal with family and friends.

Gather your family and have a little fun taking this quiz, which runs the gamut from serious religious questions to tasty trivia about sugary sweets.

And however you choose to celebrate, we hope you have a happy, meaningful holiday.

1. The concept of the Easter Bunny originated in Germany during the 1700s, but the mythical creature wasn't a rabbit initially. What was it?

A. Cat

D. Dog

C. Kangaroo

D. Hare

2. Hunting and rolling eggs are popular Easter traditions. The first official White House egg roll occurred in 1878. Who was president at the time?

A. Rutherford B. Hayes

B. James A. Garfield

C. Ulysses S. Grant

D. Andrew Johnson

3. The Bible says Jesus rose from the dead on the first Sunday following the Jewish feast of ______.

A. Plenty

B. Passover

C. Saints

D. Sharing

4. To whom did Jesus first appear after his resurrection, according to Biblical accounts?

A. Doubting Thomas

B. Martha

C. His mother, Mary

D. Mary Magdalene

5. Historically, with what profession is the Easter basket associated?

A. Shepherd

B. Tax collector

C. Farmer

D. Juggler

6. Lent, a period of fasting, self-denial and repentance, occurs the 40 days prior to Easter (from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday, minus the six Sundays during that time). What does the number 40 represent?

A. The number of days Jesus was in prison before his death on the cross.

B. Jesus' age when he was crucified.

C. The number of days Jesus fasted in the wilderness.

D. The 40 years the Israelites spent in the desert.

7. The most popular chocolate egg worldwide is the Cadbury Creme Egg. Approximately how many are produced each year?

A. 50 million

B. 100 million

C. 300 million

D. 500 million

8. Easter and church holidays leading up to that day, such as Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday and Good Friday, are sometimes referred to as what type of feasts?

A. Loveable

B. Portable

C. Moveable

D. Malleable

9. Americans purchase more than 700 million marshmallow Peeps during the Easter season. What is the most popular color?

A. Pink

B. Lavender

C. Yellow

D. Blue

10. Most of the bigger holidays (and even some of the smaller ones) have an animated special starring the Peanuts gang. What is the name of the Peanuts Easter special?

A. "It's Easter, Charlie Brown"

B. "It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown"

C. "A Charlie Brown Easter"

D. "You're a Good Egg, Charlie Brown"

11. Which member of the Rat Pack starred with Judy Garland and Fred Astaire in "Easter Parade," the 1948 movie musical?

A. Frank Sinatra

B. Dean Martin

C. Peter Lawford

D. Sammy Davis Jr.

12. Which of these famous singers recorded "Here Comes Peter Cottontail" in 1950? Hint: He also sang "Here Comes Santa Claus" and "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer."

A. Bing Crosby

B. Gene Autry

C. Dean Martin

D. Perry Como

13. Americans consume approximately 16 billion jelly beans at Easter, many of them contained in plastic eggs. What is the most popular jelly bean flavor?

A. Cherry

B. Grape

C. Strawberry

D. Lemon

14. The resurrection story appears in all four gospels of the New Testament of the Bible: Matthew, Mark, Luke and _______ .

A. James

B. John

C. Joseph

D. Jesus

15. In Christianity, why is the Sunday before the resurrection called Palm Sunday?

A. The wood for Jesus' cross was made from palm trees.

B. When Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey, his followers waved and covered the road in palm leaves.

C. It is a reference to the scars on Jesus' palms after he was crucified.

D. Jesus wore palm leaves on his garments the day of the crucifixion.

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ANSWERS:

1. D, Hare. While both the rabbit and the hare belong to the Lagomorpha order of mammals, they are different creatures. For starters, hares typically have longer, stronger hind legs.

2. A, Rutherford B. Hayes. The egg is associated with Easter because of pagan festivals celebrating spring, and because many Christians view the egg as symbolic of Jesus' resurrection and emergence from the tomb.

3. B, Passover. Typically celebrated before Easter, Passover commemorates the liberation of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery.

4. D, Mary Magdalene. The Gospel of Mathew (NIV) also refers to "the other Mary" seeing Jesus at the same time as Mary Magdalene, but the other Mary is not the mother of Jesus.

5. C, Farmer. Ancient farmers would take baskets of seedlings to temples to celebrate spring and pray to the various gods for fertile fields.

7. D, 500 million. About two-thirds of those are consumed in the U.K.

6. C, The number of days Jesus fasted in the wilderness. According to the Bible, Jesus fasted 40 days and nights in the Judean Desert after his baptism, all the while staving off temptation by Satan.

8. C, Moveable. This is because Easter can fall on any Sunday between March 22 and April 25. According to time.com, Easter is observed on the "first Sunday after the 'Pascal Full Moon' (the first full moon of spring) following the spring equinox."

9. C, Yellow. Produced by the Just Born candy company, Peeps are made from sugar, corn syrup, gelatin and various food dyes. Baby chicks followed by bunnies are the most popular shapes.

10. B, "It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown." Less beloved than such perennial classics as "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and "Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown," the Peanuts Easter special co-opted the plot of "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," with Linus anxiously waiting for the Easter Beagle to distribute painted eggs.

11. C, Peter Lawford. He performs "A Fella With an Umbrella" with Garland.

12. B, Gene Autry. Composed in 1949 by Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins, "Here Comes Peter Cottontail" was first recorded by Mervin Shiner, but Autry's version is more ubiquitous.

13. A, Cherry. If you lined up all the Easter jelly beans end to end, they would circle the globe almost three times.

14. B, John. Those who grew up in church and had to memorize the "Books of the Bible Song" likely got this one right: "Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, Acts and the Letters to the Romans ... ."

15. B, When Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey, the Bible says, his followers covered the road in palm leaves. According to Scripture, they also spread their garments on the road.

SOURCES: IMBD.COM, HISTORY.COM, TIME.COM, CNN.COM WWW.INFOPLEASE.COM, THE BIBLE (NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION)

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