The pagan festival that began as a holy celebration in the second century has been added a dash of non-religious gala. The origin of Easter goes back to the ancient Saxons who celebrated the return of spring. They did this by worshipping their goddess of offspring and springtime, called Eastre. The festival however was celebrated by the Christian missionaries as well as the Saxons who were converted into Christianity. The Easter bunny is a symbol of the pagan ritual. Goddess Eastre's earthly symbol was the rabbit. The Germans popularized the Easter Bunny in the United States. The exchange of Easter eggs was part of the ancient tradition because egg symbolizes the process of birth.