Tag Archives: easter

History of What We All Call Easter

31 Mar

The history of Easter is commonly associated with the Christian faith and the seemingly unrelated practices of the early pagan religions. Easter history and traditions practiced today evolved from pagan symbols, from the ancient goddess Ishtar to Easter eggs and the Easter bunny.

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Easter, celebrates the Christ’s resurrection from the dead following his death on Good Friday. A rebirth that is commemorated around the vernal equinox, historically a time of pagan celebration that coincides with the arrival of spring and symbolizes the arrival of light and the awakening of life around us.

The word “Easter”

Easter is named for a Saxon goddess who was known by the names like Oestre or Eastre, and in Germany by the name of Ostara. She is a goddess of the dawn and the spring, and her name derives from words for dawn, the shining light arising from the east. Our words for the “female hormone” estrogen derives from her name as well.

Ostara brought in the end of winter, with the days brighter and growing longer after the vernal equinox, Ostara had a passion for new life. Her presence was felt in the flowering of plants and the birth of babies, both animal and human. The rabbit (well known for its propensity for rapid reproduction) was her sacred animal.

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Easter eggs & Easter bunny came from where?

Easter eggs and the Easter Bunny are both featured in the spring festivals of Ostara, which were initially held during the feasts of the goddess Ishtar. Eggs are used as a symbol of fertility, and the newborn chicks as an adorable representation of new growth. Brightly colored eggs, chicks, and bunnies were all used at festival time to express appreciation for this gift of abundance.

The ancient belief that by eating something we take on its characteristics formed the basis for the earliest “blessings” before meals (a way to honor the life that had been sacrificed so that we as humans could enjoy life) and, presumably, for the more recent Christian sacrament of communion as well.

Shaping candy Easter eggs and bunnies to celebrate the spring festival was a way to celebrate the symbols of the goddess and the season, while laying claim to their strengths.

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No matter what religious beliefs you choose to align yourself with, WeShareMedia supports any holiday that suggests bringing your loved ones together. Social Media has allowed to stay in contact at great distances and facilitated many gatherings for this weekend. So head out with your loved ones, take lots of pictures, share them with those of us not nearby and create more memories 😉

 

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