Thursday, April 1, 2010

Easter and Paganism

While some people around the world may be celebrating the death of Jesus this coming weekend, I certainly won't be. Easter is another example of a pagan festival that was hijacked by Christianity. The name Easter is derived from 'Ēostre' which is the Old English name for the Germanic goddess named 'Ôstarâ'. Ôstarâ was the goddess of fertility, so it comes as no surprise that our 'easter bunny' and easter eggs come from this originally pagan fertility festival. Though there is much debate amongst scholars as to whether Ôstarâ was originally a Germanic goddess or rather just a later invention, the origin of the 'eggs and bunnies' is most certainly linked to this goddess.


  1. I've heard this a lot, and it would seem to fit with the history of Christianity that it's true. Do you have some good material on this?

  2. A 7th century christian scholar known as "The Venerable Bede" was the first person to write about it. If you google "easter pagan fertility festival" or something along those lines you'll probably find most of the pages that I read.

  3. Actually Easter is the Christian Passover - a Jewish festival hijacked by Christians. Only in English is it called 'Easter', most European languages have a word similar to Passover, which also exists in English as the adjective 'paschal'.

  4. when you say 'jewish festival hijacked by christians,' wasn't that just the logical progression of the festival? where the death and resurrection of Jesus happened in the next couple of days. so the messiah who the jews had been waiting for had come, he was the passover lamb who was slain. many jews missed this connection and kept on waiting for their messiah, but Jesus' followers who were jews became christians and thus remembered what Jesus did on the cross at the time of the passover each year; where death had passed them over because Jesus took their place of punishment. So surely the real reason for easter is still the same.
    now this is my assumption, im not sure, but possibly when Constantine declared that everyone had to be christian instead of pagan, much of the already established pagen festivals got mixed with the christian ones. Hence the bunny and egg symbols being used at easter on top of the pre-existing passover celebration.

  5. Sorry, I have objections to the blanket term "Pagan". This seems to encompass many religions such as Ancient Roman, Ancient Greek, Celtic, Germanic etc. All quite different. These were all around at the same time as the Old Testament. Why is Judaism not considered "pagan"?
    Also, in Old English, Eostre is the festival of the Spring Equinox.

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