Sorry to those of you who have answered this a million times already

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 04/24/2011 ( 19 moms have responded )

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BUT Is Easter originally a Pagan holiday or is it Christian? How do you know this...

I really need to know, There are some people in my family that are debating the ideal…

Thanks

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Firebird - posted on 04/24/2011

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The Easter Bunny has been around a lot longer than christians. It's Pagan. However, Good Friday and Easter are christian holidays. Ostara is the Pagan spring festival celebrated on the spring equinox which welcomes back the spring and celebrates the fertillity of the Earth. The christians more or less hijacked a lot of Pagan traditions and celebrations and merged them with their own to try to convert more Pagans.



Edited to add: The name Easter is actually derived from the name of Eostre the Saxon Lunar Goddess of fertility.

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Honestly.... I don't care if it was 'originally' a pagan holiday or a Christian one. All that matters to me is what that day is NOW.... and it's a celebration of the greatest Sacrifice on Earth.

I know that's not a popular opinion to have, but I don't care. :)

Rosie - posted on 04/24/2011

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this helps explain it a little. http://www.realtruth.org/articles/070302...

joanna explained it pretty well. easter wasn't even celebrated in the united states until the 1870's, kinda funny that a "christian nation" didn't celebrate one of the most important holidays in it's religion until over two hundred years later.

Lucy - posted on 04/25/2011

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In pre-Christian (Pagan) Northern Europe the spring equinox has always been celebrated as a time of renewal, rebirth etc, and the start of Spring, hence bunnies, chicks, eggs etc.



With the more recent advent of Christianity around 2000 years ago, Easter was of course an important festival of the sacrifice of Christ and his rising from the tomb. It was actually celebrated in Autumn in the very early Christian calendar and involved many of the customs we still see today such as giving up luxuries for lent. however, because of the time of year, eggs, chicks, bunnies etc weren't really a feature.



When the Church made it's first concerted efforts to Christianise Northern Europe, which had hitherto been very resistant to conversion, they changed the dates of many of the major Christian festivals to coincide with the already existing Pagan ones. In this way they ended up melding the festivals of Easter and the Spring equinox, and adopted many of the existing Pagan customs.



So, although Pagans didn't invent Easter exactly, Paganism has certainly had a significant impact on the way it is celebrated.



As somebody from a large family whose members are about 50% Pagan and 50% Christian, I actually see the overlap as a plus. We can (and do) all celebrate together, even though there are differences in precisely what the festival means to each of us. I think it's a shame if people, whether Christian or Pagan, are possessive over certain holidays- It's nice to share!

Nikki - posted on 04/25/2011

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Easter is named for the goddess Esther. goddess of fertility, eggs, rabbits, are symbols of fertility. Christians adopted it to make it easier to convert Pagans to their beliefs. It was a political tactic.

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Jennifer - posted on 04/26/2011

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@Lucy: Kudos to you! Your comment is the most accurate one I see on here. Everyone is saying Christians hi-jacked the holiday..However, as you pointed out, it's very much a real holiday in the Christian religion (and yes the date was changed to coincide with solstice for the purpose of converting Pagans).
I'm seeing a lot of narrow-mindedness and animosity towards Christians. I'm sorry if any of you have had a bad experience with someone who claims to be Christian. But my religion (Lutheran) teaches me forgiveness, acceptance, and that there is only one true judge. My religion and my own personal studies have also taught me that many religions not only have many of the same "stories" but also refer to a higher being. To me, all this means is that we all are going to the same destination..just with slightly different routes.

Isobel - posted on 04/25/2011

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see...but NOW, in my house...it's still a celebration of the rebirth of the planet, the easter bunny and has nothing to do with Jesus.

I appreciate that YOU believe that and I know you never push your beliefs on anybody else, but I certainly have heard my share of Christians claim that the rest of us shouldn't be ALLOWED to celebrate their holidays when they clearly have no ownership on them.

Sal - posted on 04/25/2011

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i think it is usually the case that it is a bit of both, the christians when they invaded lands brought their religious dates with them and the locals would often carry on their tradditional festivals and when they over lapped we have the modern form of the holiday......i think that easter probally worked well with the spring festivals where thanks for surviving the winter and the comming crops and new live stock were blessed, (chicken/eggs/rebirth) just my idea

Charlie - posted on 04/24/2011

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I dont care where it came from either it's just a fun family day for us :D

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Easter started out as a pagan holiday and then was adopted by christians as pagan predates christianity. However, both religions use Easter to celebrate the rebirth of life and new beginnings so I don't really think either one is wrong.

Rosie - posted on 04/24/2011

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you know i really don't either teresa, i just like to be right. so when someone else claims what the OP says her family did, i'd like to have the knowledge to prove them wrong.
but i'm that way with everything, i always have to be right, lol. :)

Charlie - posted on 04/24/2011

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Pagan - it is the festival of fertility hence the symbolisim of the eggs and the rabbit .

Minnie - posted on 04/24/2011

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Easter= Eostre=estrogen, estrus....

I think it's neat where the root of our words come from.

Amanda - posted on 04/24/2011

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Heres a easy way to figure this out, Pagans have been around a lot longer then Christians. Christians highjacked ALL major Pagan holidays, to make it easier to convert people into Christianity. Wise move

Minnie - posted on 04/24/2011

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I have personally heard that it was adopted as a Christian holiday in response to so many people celebrating the time of a Pagan nature- the fertility celebration.

Just like Christianity adopted December 25th as Jesus' birthday because there were so many Pagan celebrations on that day.

At least that's what I've heard...I'm no historian :).

I wonder, because Jesus resurrected only 2000 years ago. I imagine Pagan roots go back much further.

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