Do You Know the True Origins of Easter?
Is Easter a Christian holiday? Many people believe it is. However, the history of it is rooted in pagan spring celebrations. Many of the traditions such as eggs, the Easter Bunny and the egg hunt comes from these celebrations. Here are the real origins of this holiday so many think of as Christian.
A Pagan Beginning of Easter
Christians may have adopted the celebration of Easter, but there is little doubt from historians and the like that it is rooted in a Pagan holiday. Much like Christmas, the holiday has been “Christianized.” The word “Easter” or a derivative of the word are not found in the Bible. The word actually comes from the festival of Eostar. This is also known as the Spring Equinox, Vernal Equinox, Rites of Spring or Eostra’s Day. The festival is to celebrate the goddess Ostara or Eastre. She is the goddess of dawn and spring. She brings new life to the land. They celebrate surviving a harsh winter and the appearance of new life in the land. They determine the date of the celebration by the appearance of Spring Equinox. This happens on March 21st. It is the first Sunday after the first full moon after that date.
Christians have used this day to symbolize the death and resurrection of Christ. IF this was truly a Christian holiday, it would have a fixed date, usually based on the Hebrew calendar. Instead, it follows the Pagan calender.
The Easter Bunny
Is the Easter Bunny real? The Bunny we know today is not, but bunnies or rabbits were a big part of celebrating the Spring Equinox. Pagans used the hare to represent Spring or the rebirth of the Sun. After long dark winter months, the hare brings new life to the world. Hares are known to be the most prolific breeders. A female hare can conceive another litter when she is still pregnant with her first one. Both litters will be birth separately. An average female hare can produce several litters within a year. The new offspring mature rather fast, and they can start producing offspring too.
The Easter Egg
The Easter eggs and the bunnies are not considered Christian emblems. The egg is used to represent fertility. Spring is fertile for fruits, vegetables and other forms of new life. The egg symbolizes how the Goddess Ostara had laid an egg that was split open by the heat of the Sun God. Thus, it hatched the world. The Easter Bunny comes from the idea that hares are very fertile creatures, and they will lay the eggs for the Goddess. The basket represents the nest hares raise their young in. Their next are placed above ground in a hollow or hare form. This hollow looks like a lapwing nest. When Spring arrives, it was easy to find eggs laid in hare forms. That is how the egg tradition began. The hare laid eggs for Spring to begin.
Easter became Christianized when it spread throughout Europe. Many pagans wanted to continue the Spring holiday. A Christianized Eostar is the compromise. They used the Pagan holiday to help convert and change the Pagan’s belief structure. It is a better strategy than banning the holiday and impose a new one of the people. So they made a Christian version of it. This helped make people more acceptable to Christianity.
Easter is not celebrated by some Christians because of its Pagan origins. They believe that Christians have incorporated Pagan themes, beliefs and practices into the religion. They are purist. They do not celebrate other Christian holidays because of the same reason. Most Christian holidays have Pagan roots.
The origins of Easter is fascinating. It does not matter what religion your believe. It is great to know how many holidays have evolved over the years. Have a Happy Easter.