Praise be to Allah.
Is it haram to celebrate Easter?
It is not permissible for a Muslim to take part in the festivals and innovated celebrations of the non-Muslims, such as Easter, Christmas and so on. Taking part and attending is helping in this evil, and increasing their numbers, and imitating them, all of which is not allowed.
Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Severe in punishment.” [al-Maidah 5:2]
And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” (Narrated by Abu Dawud (4031); classed as sahih by al-Albani in Irwa al-Ghalil, 5/109)
Can Muslims attend non-Muslim festivals?
Ibn al-Qayyim said:
It is not permissible for the Muslims to attend the festivals of the disbelievers , according to the consensus of the scholars whose words carry weight. The jurists who follow the four schools of thought have stated this clearly in their books… Al-Bayhaqi narrated with a sound chain of transmission from ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab that he said: “Do not enter upon the disbelievers in their churches on the day of their festival , for divine wrath is descending upon them.” And ‘Umar also said: “Avoid the enemies of Allah on their festivals.” Al-Bayhaqi narrated with a good chain of transmission from ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Amr that he said: “Whoever settles in the land of the non-Arabs and celebrates their new year and festival and imitates them until he dies in that state, will be gathered with them on the Day of Resurrection.” (Ahkam Ahl al-Dhimmah, 1/723-724)
The Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas was asked about Argentinian national celebrations and celebrations that are held in their churches such as Independence Day, and Christian Arab celebrations such as Easter.
“It is not permissible for Muslims to hold such celebrations or attend them or participate in them with the Christians, because that is helping in sin and transgression, and Allah has forbidden that. And Allah is the Source of strength.” (Fatawa al-Lajnah al-Daimah, 2/76)
To sum up, it is not permissible to celebrate the festivals of the disbelievers or to participate in them, whether they do any religious practices in them or limit it to play and entertainment, because just celebrating it is a haram innovation, but attending their religious rituals is more haram.
The Muslim should spend this day like any other day, and not have any special food or drink on it, or do anything else to show happiness that is done by those who celebrate this festival, such as going out to parks, funfairs and so on, so as to disavow himself of the sins or approving or taking part.
And Allah knows best.