Although the Christian festival of Easter celebrates the torture and death of Jesus on a cross and, especially, his alleged resurrection, and has links to the Jewish Passover, most people, including Christians, unknowingly celebrate its pagan influences, including the bunny, a symbol of fertility, and colored eggs, representing the sunlight of spring.
It took over 300 years before Christians established the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the full moon following the March Equinox at the First Council of Nicaea in 325 C.E. The pagan Easter, however, was celebrated long before Christianity (although the festival went by many names).
In the 8th century, Christian scholar Bede claimed in his book, De temporum ratione, (The Reckoning of Time) that Easter derived from the Saxon Eostre (a.k.a. Eastre). 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. They placed them at graves especially, probably as a charm of rebirth. (Egyptians and Greeks were also known to place eggs at gravesites).
Only later did the Christians pilfer the name for themselves and graft their religion onto a pagan celebration.
Re: HAPPY ISHTAR (Easter)!!!
by Cittasanto » Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:46 am
Shortly after the spring equinox it snowed here and many farm animals have died! my bird feeder was destroyed and even though it hasn't snowed in about 4days there is still snow in the fields, and my back garden. There were people stranded and helicopters were needed to take food to certain areas, and one woman was airlifted to hospital to give birth.
YAY for spring.
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