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Easter by the numbers

By Amy Roberts, CNN Library
updated 3:28 PM EDT, Fri March 29, 2013
The Easter Bunny has long been associated with Christianity's most important holiday. Rabbits are an ancient symbol of <a href='http://www.rabbit.org/journal/1/history-of-easter.html' target='_blank'>fertility, the moon and spring</a>. In Germany, springtime celebrations including a magical egg-laying hare called <a href='http://www.history.com/topics/easter-symbols' target='_blank'>Osterhase</a> helped lay the foundations for Easter baskets full of eggs and other goodies. The Easter Bunny has long been associated with Christianity's most important holiday. Rabbits are an ancient symbol of fertility, the moon and spring. In Germany, springtime celebrations including a magical egg-laying hare called Osterhase helped lay the foundations for Easter baskets full of eggs and other goodies.
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The Easter Bunny and his festive friends
Festive friends: Chicks
Festive friends: Lambs
Festive friends: Ducklings
Festive friends: Groundhogs
Festive friends: Black cats
Festive friends: Spiders
Festive friends: Bats
Festive friends: Turkeys
Festive friends: Reindeer
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • More than half the country plans to attend an Easter Sunday service
  • It takes 6 minutes to make a Peeps Marshmallow Chick
  • The popular way to eat a chocolate bunny is ears first

(CNN) -- Some Christians will mark the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter by donning their Sunday best, attending church and going on egg hunts. But what's the history of the holiday? And how much will we actually spend on those yummy chocolate rabbits? Below are some interesting facts about Easter:

77 -- Percent of Americans who identify themselves as Christian, as of December 2012.

58 -- Percent of Americans who plan to attend church on Easter Sunday this year.

33 A.D. -- Possible year of Jesus' crucifixion, according to the Bible and earthquake research reported in the International Geology Review in 2012.

17.2 billion -- Estimated number of dollars to be spent in the U.S. on Easter in 2013.

145.13 -- Estimated dollars spent this year by each American celebrating Easter.

13th century -- About the time people are first thought to have decorated eggs for Easter.

1700s -- Era in which German immigrants bring stories about "Osterhase," an early Easter Bunny, to the United States.

180 million -- Number of eggs Americans will purchase to dye and decorate this year.

35,000 -- Number of attendees expected at the 135th White House Easter Egg Roll, scheduled to be held the day after Easter, on April 1.

6 -- Number of minutes it takes the Just Born Candy Co. to make a Peeps Marshmallow Chick.

16,800,000,000 -- Net sales in dollars of Mars Inc in 2012 -- the largest candy company in the world.

88 -- Percent of American parents who make Easter baskets for their kids.

76 -- Percent of chocolate bunny eaters who go for the ears first, according to a survey by the National Confectioners Association.

Sources: Gallup Politics, PR Newswire, Dead Sea Quake.info, National Retail Federation, The History Channel, ProFlowers, Paas, The White House, JustBorn, Candy Industry and the National Confectioners Association

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