All this Easter business

April 8, 2010 at 10:16 pm (The Whim) (, , , , )

This is an ode to Interested, as this post is actually a comment I made on her blog. I wanted to share it with my personal readers.

As a Christian who some people would call “religious” I have to say: I don’t think Easter should be the most celebrated Christian holiday.

Celebrating the Resurrection is quite different (in my book) from celebrating Easter. Easter, by name, is a celebration of the Spring Equinox.

The ancient Saxons in Northern Europe worshiped the Goddess Oestre at the time of the Spring Equinox. The Goddess Easter represents the sunrise, spring-time and fertility, the renewal of life. Pagan Anglo-Saxons made offerings of colored eggs to her at the Vernal Equinox, putting them at graves. Some people believe that the Egyptians and Greeks did this as well.

“Christians” used the name later and morphed their religion onto a pagan celebration so that new converts wouldn’t find the transition intimidating… and/or new “converts” kept celebrating their old traditions because rather than actually converting they added Jesus to one of the many gods they already worshiped. (I’ve seen the history written both ways, and both is equally believable.)

I would never prohibit a child from attending an Easter Egg hunt, because its now a fun tradition that many people participate in – but I also will never tell my kid that its an important Christian holiday or make up any kind of “Christian” symbolism about the eggs. In my book, the Resurrection celebration and the Easter celebration should be considered separate holidays, but they have been merged for so long people can’t remember the difference

1 Comment

  1. Interested said,

    Thanks Anaka. I have not read about the pagen connection. Now I have more food for thought….and research.

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