If you visit a supermarket in the UK in March or April, you will notice a curious thing: shelf after shelf is filled with large, brightly-coloured eggs.
Look a little closer and you will discover something else. These eggs aren?t real eggs. They are, in fact, made of chocolate. And that can mean only one thing - it?s Easter time again.
Easter is a festival that has been celebrated in Britain for thousands of years. These days we mark the occasion by giving each other chocolate eggs, or Easter Eggs. But what are the roots of this traditional event?
For Christian people Easter is essentially a religious festival. According to the Bible, Jesus Christ was killed by the Romans but came back to life three days later. That is why Easter is seen as a time of rebirth and regeneration.
However, some people suggest that Easter has its origins in pre-Christian, or Pagan, times. They claim that the very earliest societies celebrated the end of winter and the beginning of spring ? the time when life returns to the land, when crops grow and animals breed again.
Whatever its origins, Easter is big business. The UK's biggest retailer of Easter Eggs sold more than 20 million units last year whilst some luxury Easter Eggs can cost more than 20!