Holidays: Easter

Easter is one of those holidays that is a combination of pagan and Christian. And businesses have taken advantage of the pagan side and run with it.

The spring equinox was celebrated for centuries. It was the beginning of life returning to the earth after the freezing cold and snows of winter. Germanic tribes celebrated the day praising the goddess Ostara or Ēostre, the goddess of birth and fertility. It was a day to celebrated life.

When Christianity began to spread, with it’s roots in Judaism and the death and resurrection of Jesus taking place at the time of Passover, they came across the Germanic pagan tribes and began to try to convert them to Christianity. One way that they were able to do that is by adopting traditions of their holidays. So Easter celebrations began to mean coloring eggs and hiding them for children to find, since eggs are a symbol of fertility. Another symbol of fertility was hares, or rabbits. Slowly over time the Easter Bunny came to be.

Today Wiccans still celebrate Ostara on the spring equinox. They color eggs, eat way too much candy, and celebrate the fertility of the earth. Pretty much the same things that Christians do on Easter. It’s really interesting to realize that the secular side of Easter celebrations came from ancient pagans.

Honestly, it has helped me a lot. Being able to better separate the secular from the religious has allowed me to better focus my attention on the religious side of things. It’s amazing what you notice when you are able to remove the pastel filter and understand what is the point of the holiday.

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