Like most celebrations, the Easter holidays have their roots in pagan tradition.
There is evidence that Christians originally celebrated the resurrection of Christ every Sunday; however, at some point in early Christian history it became customary to celebrate the resurrection specifically on one day each year instead.
As Christianity was beginning to grow in popularity, it still contended with many versions of paganism. Naturally, the two evolved together and the date of the celebration of the resurrection was settled at the dawn of spring.
Nevertheless, taking a glimpse into history does not discredit the significance of these festivities from a Christian perspective. We have no intention of denying the importance of the resurrection story, nor do we in anyway disprove of the life or teachings of Jesus, but instead, let’s take a deeper look into how it all evolved, identifying the unification of many beliefs, which will hopefully serve to connect us even more to the symbolism of this Easter season.
- The Easter holiday falls smack on top of a celebration that has been happening every spring all over the world in an unbroken tradition going back to many centuries before Jesus was even born.
- The holiday is always set as the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox.
- The word ‘Easter’ may have evolved from ‘Ishtar’ (pronounced Easter), a traditional moon-goddess, whose son Tammuz, the sun god, was resurrected after the short days of winter with the welcoming of spring’s longer days.
- Crucifixion is also a representation of the sun descending to the constellation ‘Crux’ or The Southern Cross at the time of the winter solstice (late December).
- The resurrection at Easter, from a pagan perspective, represents the re-birth of the sun, as well as the joy and warmth of spring.
- Easter was originally (and still is) a celebration of the fertility of the Earth, as she is renewed each springtime. The traditional Easter figures of eggs, chicks, the Easter Bunny and flowers are all fertility symbols.
This is undoubtedly a powerful time of the year, no matter your point of view.
As we enjoy a few days off on our long weekend, perhaps we can use them for our own resurrection, renewing ourselves with intentions to live more like Jesus Christ, loving unconditionally.