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Is Easter Really A Pagan Festival?

Posted by on Mar. 25, 2013 at 12:27 AM
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4 moms liked this

Is Easter Really A Pagan Festival?


Is Easter Really A Pagan Festival?

Easter falls this year on March 31, but what exactly are we celebrating?

While it is true that Christians have for centuries celebrated Easter Sunday as the day of Jesus Christ’s resurrection, the roots of the Easter holiday’s traditions and activities can be traced back to pagan celebrations: the word Easter appears only once in some versions of the Bible, and even then it is actually a mistranslation of the Greek word for Passover, the festival that Jesus would have celebrated.

That’s why strict Puritans in the past would have nothing to do with Easter, merely a human invention.

Where Does The Word Easter Come From?

There are several theories on the derivation of this name, but most experts agree that the name Eostre is a corruption of Astarte, the mother goddess of the ancient Assyrians, also known as Ishtar. Eostre was the goddess of rebirth, and in early times the feast of Eostre, around the time of the spring equinox, celebrated earth’s resurrection and rebirth.

During the 2nd century, early Christians attempting to convert pagan worshippers called their Christian celebration “Ostara” which later became “Easter.”

What about the resurrection of Christ?

Here too, Christians made the pragmatic decision to incorporate acceptance of ancient pagan practices into their religion. The general symbolic story of the death of the son (sun) on a cross (the constellation of the Southern Cross) and his rebirth, overcoming the powers of darkness, appears in many myths throughout the ancient world.

There were also plenty of stories of amazing resurrections from the dead. In fact, according to myth, the goddess Ishtar herself was hung naked on a stake, and was later resurrected and ascended from the underworld.

Celebrating The Spring Equinox

But for millennia before the Christian religion imposed its beliefs, people were celebrating the spring equinox, possibly the oldest holiday in human culture. For a world tied to the rhythms of nature, the end of winter, a dead, dark season and the beginning of spring, with the rebirth of life, must have been a truly joyful time.

Interestingly, the early Christians recognized this and used the spring equinox to determine the Easter date. In 325, the Council of Nicaea decided that Easter would be the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the March equinox. (Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate Easter on a different date.)

All Things Easter: Bunnies, Eggs, Hot Cross Buns

Easter has so many fun things! For bunnies, we go back to Eostre again: her symbol was a rabbit or a hare. According to ancient myth, she owned a magic hare that hibernated all winter underground and bounded to life every spring, giving out presents to good children.

Exchange of eggs is an ancient custom, celebrated by many cultures. The egg has represented fertility and restoration for a long time, probably long before our ancestors had any knowledge of sperm and ova. Eggs are perfect symbols of the regeneration that comes with spring.

And The Guardian explains:

Hot cross buns are very ancient too. In the Old Testament we see the Israelites baking sweet buns for an idol, and religious leaders trying to put a stop to it. The early church clergy also tried to put a stop to sacred cakes being baked at Easter. In the end, in the face of defiant cake-baking pagan women, they gave up and blessed the cake instead.

Personally, I love this season because the days are longer, I don’t have to wake up and go to work in the dark, and I know that summer, with the promise of adventures in nature, is coming!

Happy Easter everyone!



Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/is-easter-really-a-pagan-festival.html#ixzz2OWJI62hY
by on Mar. 25, 2013 at 12:27 AM
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Mommy_of_Riley
by Jes on Mar. 25, 2013 at 12:32 AM
Depends on how you celebrate.

Our family is Catholic so we celebrate Holy Week (Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, etc.) but Hubby's family is Irish and my ancestors were Irish Druids... So we celebrate a lot of Celtic traditions as well as our Catholic beliefs.
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glitterteaz
by Ruby Member on Mar. 25, 2013 at 12:34 AM
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celebration of breeding!!!! 

Donna6503
by Platinum Member on Mar. 25, 2013 at 12:39 AM
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Well, since the resurrection story in the Bible, didn't have Jesus coming out of the tomb looking for chocolate baby bunnies and colored eggs in bushes. Nor did it look like He commanded everyone to wear a fancy hat to march on Main Street, nor did He start playing with His peeps when He was witness by those that saw Him after his death. I feel it is a safe bet, that there are pagan traditions behind the celebration of Easter.
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Goodwoman614
by Satan on Mar. 25, 2013 at 12:44 AM
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Quoting Donna6503:

Well, since the resurrection story in the Bible, didn't have Jesus coming out of the tomb looking for chocolate baby bunnies and colored eggs in bushes. Nor did it look like He commanded everyone to wear a fancy hat to march on Main Street, nor did He start playing with His peeps when He was witness by those that saw Him after his death. I feel it is a safe bet, that there are pagan traditions behind the celebration of Easter.

Lol. But most Xtians don't just stick to their zombie J thing.

They also do the pagan stuff. And THEN of COURSE we always have the ignorant ones who insist that Easter is totally only a Xtian thing, lol.


tscritch
by Silver Member on Mar. 25, 2013 at 12:53 AM
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 How dare you? You don't know that!!! I would bet money there were Peeps involved!!!! Maybe that is why he came out of the tomb....to look for Easter eggs? It's possible........ :-)

Quoting Donna6503:

Well, since the resurrection story in the Bible, didn't have Jesus coming out of the tomb looking for chocolate baby bunnies and colored eggs in bushes. Nor did it look like He commanded everyone to wear a fancy hat to march on Main Street, nor did He start playing with His peeps when He was witness by those that saw Him after his death. I feel it is a safe bet, that there are pagan traditions behind the celebration of Easter.

 

Donna6503
by Platinum Member on Mar. 25, 2013 at 1:13 AM
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I blame the Catholics, they took that part of the story out of the Bible.

For in the beginning was the word, and the word was peeps.

;-)

(Just kidding .. RCC folks)


Quoting tscritch:

 How dare you? You don't know that!!! I would bet money there were Peeps involved!!!! Maybe that is why he came out of the tomb....to look for Easter eggs? It's possible........ :-)


Quoting Donna6503:

Well, since the resurrection story in the Bible, didn't have Jesus coming out of the tomb looking for chocolate baby bunnies and colored eggs in bushes. Nor did it look like He commanded everyone to wear a fancy hat to march on Main Street, nor did He start playing with His peeps when He was witness by those that saw Him after his death. I feel it is a safe bet, that there are pagan traditions behind the celebration of Easter.

 


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..MoonShine..
by Redwood Witch on Mar. 25, 2013 at 1:56 AM
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Cadbury eggs. It was ALL about the Cadbury eggs.

Quoting Donna6503:

Well, since the resurrection story in the Bible, didn't have Jesus coming out of the tomb looking for chocolate baby bunnies and colored eggs in bushes. Nor did it look like He commanded everyone to wear a fancy hat to march on Main Street, nor did He start playing with His peeps when He was witness by those that saw Him after his death. I feel it is a safe bet, that there are pagan traditions behind the celebration of Easter.
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toomanypoodles
by Ruby Member on Mar. 25, 2013 at 4:28 AM
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 I don't care where something came from, it is Christ and the Ressurection that I am celebrating.  Throw in some chicks and bunnies and it makes it adorable.

Happy Easter to my Christian friends, and happy Spring to the others. 

Sekirei
by Nari Trickster on Mar. 25, 2013 at 7:40 AM
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Quoting glitterteaz:

celebration of breeding!!!! 

see... I can celebrate that... all... night...long

jeweldragons
by on Mar. 25, 2013 at 7:56 AM
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Technically all Christian holidays have pagan meanings behind them.  Well maybe except for Good Friday.

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