*Pagan roots, fertility, spring, the equinox, and similar goddesses make up the real “Easter”. Bottomline, the truth is that Easter has nothing whatsoever to do with the resurrection of Jesus Christ and can be as much as three weeks away from Passover.
– The Pagan holiday is always set as the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox.
– Every year, on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox, a celebration was made.
It was Ishtar’s Sunday and was celebrated with rabbits and eggs, which were considered signs of fertility– Ishtar also proclaimed that because Tammuz was killed by a pig, that a pig must be eaten on that Sunday.
– The Easter Bunny’s one curious custom that I had always wondered about. Did you know some legends hold that the Easter bunny was originally a large, beautiful bird that belonged to the goddess Eostre.
– Now one day she magically changed her pet bird into a hare. Of course, the hare held on to its nest and its eggs. That’s where it came from. Hares and rabbits, they’re symbols of new life in the spring, symbols of fertility.
– The origin of Easter is pagan. While the Church says that Easter Sunday is the day when Jesus Christ was resurrected after having died on Good Friday, the origins of Easter Sunday are older than Christianity itself, and the history of Easter goes further back in time to the pagan practices of the Germanic peoples of Europe.
– The word Easter originated from the West Saxon Old English Ēastre, goddess of the dawn of the Germanic peoples of Europe, including the English or Anglo-Saxon people. The pagan religion having died out at the onslaught of Christianity, little is known about the goddess Ēastre, or Ēostre (Northumbrian Old English), besides that she was goddess of light, as echoed by the meaning of her name, “to shine.” There is, however, a goddess worshipped throughout most of the Near East whose name peculiarly sounds like Eostre’s: Ishtar, also known as Ashtoreth and Astarte, queen of heaven and pagan goddess of love and beauty.
– The egg and hare were symbols of Ostara representing fertility and new life in the Spring. Since ancient times many cultures have associated eggs with the universe. They’ve been dyed, decorated and painted by the Romans, Gaul’s, Persians and the Chinese. They were used in ancient spring festivals to represent the rebirth of life.Dyed eggs also formed part of the rituals of the Babylonian mystery religions and in Egypt they were hung in temples as symbol of regenerative life.
– As Christianity took hold the egg began to symbolize the rebirth of man rather than nature.A Polish folktale tells of the Virgin Mary giving eggs to soldiers at the cross while she pleaded with them to be merciful. As her tears dropped they spattered droplets on the eggs mottling them with a myriad of colors. Christians of the Near East used the egg to symbolize the tomb from which Jesus broke forth. They were often colored red to represent the blood of Christ. The Easter tradition of rolling eggs is said to symbolize the rolling away of the rock from Jesus’s tomb.
– The Easter basket originates from the ancient Catholic custom of taking the food for Easter dinner to mass to be blessed. This, too, mirrored the even more ancient ritual of bringing the first crops and seedlings to the temple to insure a good growing season. This practice, combined with the “rabbit’s nest” of the Pennsylvania Dutch has evolved in the brightly colored containers filled with sweets, toys and the like left for children on Easter morning by the Easter Bunny.
– The bunny as an Easter symbol was also mentioned in German writings, in many parts of Germany the people believed the Easter bunny laid red eggs on Holy Thursday and multi-colored eggs the night before Easter Sunday. Edible Easter Bunnies were made from pastry and sugar.
– Easter lilies are sometimes called the “white-robed apostles of hope,” because they were reportedly found growing in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus’ sweat fell to the ground in his final hours. These same flowers have been long revered by Pagans of many lands as fertility symbols.
– The fact is that the Ancient Romans were smart when it came to conquering. In their pagan days, they would absorb gods and goddesses from every religion they encountered into their own pantheon; when the Roman Empire became Christian, the Roman Catholic Church continued to do the same thing, in a manner of speaking.
– Adaptability is a good trait to have in terms of survival of the fittest. Scratch the surface of just about any Christian holiday, and you’ll find pagan elements, if not a downright pagan theme, underneath.
– Most Christians know this. They know that Jesus wasn’t really born on December 25th, and they know that there were never any actual snakes in Ireland, and they know that rabbits and eggs are fertility symbols. But they don’t care, because they realize that religions evolve and change and that that’s actually a good thing, not a bad thing.
– The fact that many Christian saints are just re-imagined pagan gods and goddesses doesn’t alter their faith one iota; because faith isn’t about reason or sense, it’s about belief. No matter what you believe in, I think that we can all agree that the end of winter and the rebirth of spring is worth celebrating.
– Almost 300 years after Jesus, 30 decades later, was when the Roman Emperor Constantine Christianised a lot of the pagan festivals and traditions. It’s through the Edict of Milan and the Council of Nicaea that the Roman Church was united and the empire expanded. Many of the people who practiced paganism were either forced to convert or were persecuted.
– In the end the Christian Church adopted these pagan practices and traditions in a bid to convert the masses. They did it by adding popular festivals of worshiping the “sun” and those springtime traditions that they altered, and they changed, and they mixed it all together, supposedly to honor Jesus, “the true Sun.”
– Pagan rituals, symbols, practices that were brought right into Christian observances, became the common practice and still exist today. These traditions of worshiping other gods, are practiced by millions of Christians world wide without out actually knowing their origins.
– A foul Babylonian custom is that which, by law, makes every woman of the land to sit in the temple of Aphrodite and have intercourse with some stranger once in her life whether they wanted to or not. Even wealthy women had to “do the deed” but they still acted better than others refusing to mingle with the rest, they would come to the temple in covered carriages drawn by teams, and stand there with a team of attendants. But most others just sit down in the sacred plot of Aphrodite, with crowns of cord on their heads.
– There was a multitude of women coming and going; passages marked by line run every way through the crowd, by which the men pass and make their choice. Once a woman has taken her place there, she does not go away to her home before some stranger has cast money into her lap, and had intercourse with her outside the temple; but while he casts the money, he must say, I invite you in the name of Mylitta (that is the Assyrian name for Aphrodite). It does not matter what sum the money is; the woman will never refuse, or can not refuse really, for that would be a sin, the money being by this act made sacred. So she follows the first man who casts it no matter who it is.
– After their intercourse, having done her sacred duty to the goddess, she gets to go home. So then the women that are fair and considered better looking were soon free, but the uncomely had longer to wait because they had to return every year until she could fulfil the law; for some of them it could take three or four years.