Friday, April 22, 2011

The Truth About Easter? Maybe....

Why do Xians celebrate a "pagan" Holyday?  Modern-day Easter is derived from two ancient traditions: one Judeo-Christian and the other Pagan. Both Christians and Pagans have celebrated death and resurrection themes following the Spring Equinox for millennia. Most religious historians believe that many elements of the Christian observance of Easter were derived from earlier Pagan celebrations.
The equinox occurs each year on March 20, 21 or 22. Both Neonaturalists and Christians continue to celebrate religious rituals linked to the equinox.  Neonaturalists usually hold their celebrations on the day or eve of the equinox. Western Christians celebrate Easter on the Sunday on or after the full moon that follows the nominal date of the Equinox -- MAR-21. 

[Picture: Eástre (1909) by Jacques Reich.]

Origins of the name "Easter":
The name "Easter" originated with the names of an ancient Goddess and God. The Venerable Bede, (672-735 CE.) a Christian scholar, first asserted in his book De Ratione Temporum that Easter was named after Eostre (a.k.a. Eastre). She was the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxon people in Northern Europe. Similarly, the "Teutonic dawn goddess of fertility [was] known variously as Ostare, Ostara, Ostern, Eostra, Eostre, Eostur, Eastra, Eastur, Austron and Ausos." 1 Her name was derived from the ancient word for spring: "eastre." Similar Goddesses were known by other names in ancient cultures around the Mediterranean, and were celebrated in the springtime. Some were: 

Aphrodite from ancient Cyprus,

Ashtoreth from ancient Israel

Astarte from ancient Greece

Demeter from Mycenae

Hathor from ancient Egypt

Ishtar from Assyria

Kali, from India

Ostara a Norse Goddess of fertility.

So maybe the following makes more sense, or not. Either way it is more fun and entertaining. Enjoy!

South Park S11E05 - Fantastic Easter Special