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Pagan Easter

Easter is undoubtedly one of the most important religious holidays celebrated by Christians all over the world. It’s supposedly a celebration of the resurrection of Christ that happened more than two thousand years ago. However, many people are unaware that Easter has a deep-rooted pagan origin that has been celebrated for many centuries before the birth of Christ.

The pagan origins of Easter date back to ancient times when people celebrated the arrival of spring. It was a time when the days became longer, the weather became warmer, and new life emerged after a long winter. People were happy to see their crops grow, and they rejoiced in the rebirth of the natural world. The pagan festivals of Easter celebrated the arrival of spring and the renewal of life.

The origins of the Easter festival can be traced back to the ancient civilizations in the Middle East, where the goddess Ishtar was worshipped. Ishtar was considered the goddess of fertility, love, and war, and she was celebrated during the spring equinox, which usually fell in late March. Ishtar was associated with rabbits, symbolizing fertility, and eggs, representing new life. These symbols can still be seen in the modern-day celebrations of Easter.

The word ‘Easter’ comes from the Anglo-Saxon goddess, Eostre who was also worshipped in the spring season. During the festival of Eostre, people would light bonfires, decorate eggs, and wear new clothes to welcome the arrival of spring. The giving of gifts, including eggs, was also a common practice during the Eostre festival. This practice was carried forward as a part of the Christian Easter holiday, where eggs are often decorated and given as gifts.

Many other cultures also had their own unique ways of celebrating Easter. In ancient Egypt, the festival of Osiris was celebrated around the same time as Easter. Osiris was believed to be the god of the underworld and the god of fertility. During the festival of Osiris, people would offer sacrifices to the god and celebrate the new life that emerged in spring.

Similarly, in ancient Greece, the festival of Dionysus was celebrated during the spring equinox. Dionysus was considered the god of wine, fertility, and rebirth. During the festival, people would take part in parades, dance, and drink wine to celebrate the arrival of spring.

As Christianity spread across Europe, it started incorporating some of the pagan festivals of Easter into its own holiday celebrations. The Christian Easter holiday took on new meanings that incorporated the resurrection of Christ. However, many of the pagan traditions, such as the use of eggs as a symbol of new life, remained part of the celebrations.

In conclusion, Easter is a holiday that has both pagan and Biblical origins. The pagan celebrations were focused on the arrival of spring and the renewal of life, while the biblical inspired celebration focuses on the resurrection of Christ although not in a way prescribed in scripture. Biblically, it is around the time of the Passover. In any case, the traditions of Easter, such as the use of eggs and rabbits, have remained a part of the celebrations.