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AMERICAN GREETINGS OFFERS FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT EASTER

 CLEVELAND, April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Easter commemorates the Resurrection of Christ, and is the most sacred of holy days on the Christian ecclesiastical calendar. It is also classified as a "movable feast," meaning that it is a religious celebration which changes its date each year. The exact date of Easter is determined by the date of the first full moon following the vernal equinox. American Greetings offers the following additional Easter facts:
 -- WHAT'S IN A NAME - According to the writings of an English historian known as "the Venerable Bede," who lived from 672 to 735 A.D., the name "Easter" was coined for the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, Eostre, whose festival was celebrated during the vernal equinox.
 -- THE EASTER SPECTRUM -- White, yellow, purple and green are the most popular Easter colors. White stands for light, purity and joy; yellow symbolizes radiance; purple is a "royal" color, and represents mourning. Green -- nature's most prevalent color -- is symbolic of new life.
 -- AN "EGG-CITING" HISTORY -- The custom of decorating Easter eggs dates back to the Middle Ages. Spinach and anemone leaves were used to create green, gorse blossoms for yellow, logwood for purple and cochineal for red. In Eastern Europe, the decorating of Easter eggs has evolved into an art form. Elaborate, multicolored designs are applied to create one-of-a-kind masterpieces.
 -- "HEALTHIER" EASTER BASKETS -- Non-candy basket stuffers are now among the most popular Easter purchases. In today's "well dressed" Easter baskets, inexpensive toys and stuffed animals are likely to replace some of the traditional Easter candy. The reason -- a growing emphasis on health and nutrition.
 -- EASTER SYMBOLS -- The rabbit and the egg are the two most popular illustrations for Easter cards. The Easter Bunny originates from pre- Christian legends, in which rabbits were used to symbolize new life. Early Christians viewed eggs as symbols of Christ's resurrection, and therefore, appropriate Easter gifts.
 -- CIRCLE THE GLOBE -- Easter is the third largest card-sending holiday of the year. (Christmas and Valentine's Day are No. 1 and No. 2.) American Greetings estimates more than 156 million Easter cards will be exchanged this year. If laid end-to-end, that's enough cards to stretch more than 3/4 of the way around the world at the equator.
 -- IT'S ALL RELATIVE -- Seventy percent of all Easter cards are sent to relatives. Easter also has the second highest percentage of juvenile greeting card senders and receivers, ranking only behind Valentine's Day. -0-
 4/1/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Black and white and color photos and product samples are available on request./
 /CONTACT: Laurie Henrichsen, marketing/public relations coordinator of American Greetings Corporation, 216-252-4943/


CO: American Greetings Corporation ST: Ohio IN: REA SU:

SM -- NYEFNS3 -- 1825 04/01/93 07:33 EST
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Date:Apr 1, 1993
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