Easter is the most important holiday on the Christian calendar – and has been regularly observed from the earliest days of the church. It commemorates the resurrection of Jesus from the dead after his crucifixion by the Romans, as described in the New Testament.
The date of Easter is related to the full moon. Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the full moon that occurs on or just after the first day of spring. The earliest date Easter can occur is March 22, and the latest date is April 25.
This year, Easter is on April 1, also April Fools’ Day. This hasn’t occurred since 1956, but it won’t be 62 years before it’s experienced again: Easter Sunday will next fall on April 1 in 2029, and then again in 2040.
Christianity in America
In the United States, 71 percent of Americans identify themselves as Christians, according to a WalletHub analysis.
About 81 percent of Americans plan to celebrate Easter, with 51 percent of them attending church.
States with the highest percentage of Christians, more than 60 percent, are North Dakota and Utah, followed by South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and Massachusetts with 50 to 60 percent.
Easter spending is expected to total $18.2 billion this year, almost the same as a record $18.4 billion in 2017, the second-highest level on record, according to a survey conducted for the National Retail Federation. A total of 81 percent of Americans will celebrate the holiday and spend an average of $150 per person, down from last year’s previous record of $152.
Consumers will spend $5.7 billion on food, purchased by 87 percent of shoppers; $3.2 billion on clothing, 48 percent; $2.9 billion on gifts, 61 percent; $2.6 billion on candy, 89 percent; $1.3 billion on flowers, 39 percent; $1.1 billion on decorations, 42 percent; and $780 million on greeting cards, 46 percent.
Consumers intend to celebrate Easter in several ways: 60 percent will visit family and friends, 58 percent will cook a holiday meal, and 17 percent will go to a restaurant. Easter Bunny-related activities include: 35 percent of consumers will participate in an Easter egg hunt and 16 percent will open gifts. In addition to traditional holiday events, some consumers will pursue leisurely activities: 45 percent will watch TV, 11 percent will shop online, 9 percent will shop in a store, and 8 percent will go to a movie.
Best places to celebrate Easter
Where are the places that Americans feel the Easter spirit more than others? To identify those areas, WalletHub compared the 100 largest cities based on 12 items that make up a great Easter celebration. The items range from the number of egg-hunt events per capita to share of the Christian population.
The top 25 cities include:
- New York
- St. Louis, Missouri
- Los Angeles
- Birmingham, Alabama
- Las Vegas
- San Antonio
- San Diego
- Oklahoma City
- San Francisco
- Buffalo, New York
- Washington, D.C.
- Portland, Oregon
- New Orleans