To all our readers, Please don't scroll past this. On Easter, Lenten fasts would be broken and the most common treat was usually an egg. The Easter Bunny followed German immigrants to the American colonies in the 18th century and the folklore spread across the United States. The exact origin of this tradition is clouded by history, but there are two likely origins. So where does the word Easter come from? “All the fun things about Easter are pagan. The series of Pagan Holidays continues with Easter, I know for many, as it is for Christmas, it will be very difficult for them to let this pagan holiday go. Pagan Easter Goddess Ostera. But what is the true m It is, after all, the perfect example of fertility and the cycle of rebirth. Dyed eggs were used as sacred offerings during the pagan Easter season and were also used as symbols of the Goddess Oestre or Ishtar in various cultures. No. Mary Magdalene and the red eggs aren't the earliest examples of eggs as a spring symbol. The holiday often involves a church service at sunrise, a feast which includes an "Easter Ham", decorated eggs and stories about rabbits. Did you know that the U.S. goes through an estimate of 180 million eggs around Easter each year? As a result, the egg became a symbol of the holiday for the common people. According to folklorist Stephen Winick, it’s “impossible to tell if Ostara as a goddess ever existed.”. According to folklorist Stephen Winick, it’s “impossible to tell if Ostara as a goddess ever existed.”. But what about all the Easter bunnies, eggs and family egg hunts, you ask? Not at all as far as we can tell. Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. As for Easter eggs and bunnies, there is little evidence that modern Christians lifted these symbols from pagans. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - The Easter egg is a beautiful and fun tradition of the season, often celebrated by children who paint and hunt them. Jehovah's Witnesses and atheists are fond of pointing this out to Christians, and arguing that Christians should eschew the egg for that reason. This legend became part of American folklore in the 18th century, when and influx of Germans emigrated to the U.S. Today, the Easter business is a huge commercial venture. Learn Religions uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. While Easter, as we know it today, was never a pagan festival , its roots and many of its traditions have associations with ancient pagan customs and beliefs. The exact number might be even higher than that. This tradition stems from a pre-Christian custom in which eggs were covered in wax and decorated in honor of the sun god Dazhboh. I’m going to explore the symbolism behind the pagan version of the Easter holiday, celebrated on March 21st-22nd. But what does this imply? Easter Eggs. As a result, many eggs were lost during the early part of the season. Neither claim carries much weight. Easter eggs also figured in the idolatrous Chaldean rites, just as they do in Easter observance today? The only time the word “Easter” is found in the Bible (Acts 12:4), it is there by mistranslation. Easter eggs represent the empty tomb from which Jesus resurrected. Wiccan/Pagan Holydays: Web page discussing the Vernal Equinox and Wiccan and Pagan holidays, such as Easter; History of Lent: Learn about the origin of Lent and if the church had celebrated Lent before the time of Easter. Because sunrise at the beginning of spring was the holiest day in the Mithraic calendar (next to December 25), the practice of Easter … Serfs were tied to the land, and lived as virtual slaves to their lords. Fact 2: Commemorating Good Friday as Jesus’ crucifixion and celebrating Easter Sunday as His resurrection contradict the only sign He gave that He was the Messiah! Lent is the period of 40 days leading up to the Easter feast. Most of what people commonly associate with Easter is pagan in origin; the rest is commercial. Chickens were a popular source of protein for medieval people. Author Jacob Grimm, of Grimm's fairy tales, suggested that eggs were a symbol of early European Paganism. Many of the traditions and symbols we now associate with Easter, such as eggs and rabbits, do have their origins in pre-Christian pagan rituals. The Easter egg as a symbol of the season dates back to Medieval Europe and the Lenten practices of that time. Does it matter ? First, we’ll consider the idea that Easter is a pagan holiday because the name Easter has pagan origins. But are Easter eggs and bunnies also pagan as well?! Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. The Eostre theory is that the English word "Easter" is derived from the word "Eostre", which is taken to be an Anglo-Saxon or Celtic fertility goddess. In fact, as the practice of taking eggs for food was stopped during Lent, the season was likely a time when eggs were allowed to be fertilized and hatched, increasing the size of flocks. Many ancient pagan cultures exchanged eggs as a celebration of the changing season into spring and the blessing of fertility. Most cultural references to Easter include these elements, most of which are pagan in origin and all of which have become commercialized. Did you color real eggs? Exactly why the English language did not utilize the Hebrew-Greek-Latin root is a mystery. READ MORE: Does the Easter Bunny have pagan origins? The locals would then find eggs in the hare's form. The Pagan Origin Of Easter Easter is a day that is honered by nearly all of contemporary Christianity and is used to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. EGG – A sacred symbol of rebirth and fertility among the Babylonians, Druids, Egyptians and other pagan cultures. The association of eggs with Easter originated in western Europe during the High Middle Ages. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Easter egg hunt now involves plastic eggs filled with candy and toys, chocolate filled eggs and bunnies, and painted hard boiled eggs, all of which make for a day of family fun. Ukrainian Easter eggs are called pysanky, which derives from the verb for “to write.”The practice of decorating eggs dates back to pagan times. In some early cultures, the nocturnal hare was actually considered a symbol of the moon. She is the author of Daily Spellbook for the Good Witch, Wicca Practical Magic and The Daily Spell Journal. But what does this imply? It was a common way for people to break their strict Lenten fasts, and as such became a prominent symbol of the season. Ostara is essentially the pagan incarnation of the traditional Christian Easter. Every year the priest of Easter would impregnate virgins on the alter of Easter. So enjoy those Easter bunnies and colored eggs, but just make sure your kids know they are merely symbols of the new life that comes from the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christians have innumerable other symbols for commemorating Easter, and most of these feature neither hares nor eggs: Votive Candle Crown of thorns Arms of Christ Cross. Towards the end of Lent however, eggs could be harvested and hard-boiled to preserve them long enough to keep until Easter. D'Costa highlights that a common practice in England at that time was for children to go door-to-door begging for eggs on the Saturday before Lent began. The Pagan Roots of Easter. Easter eggs are hidden by anyone who wants to do an Easter egg hunt. Hislop proposed that this period of 40 days comes from the fasting that followed the Babylonian worship of Tammuz, who was honored by a period of weeping.3 Hislop cited current examples of this practice, but there is still no clear connection through time to the practice in the Christian community. For Christians, the Easter egg is symbolic of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. So as you can see, this whole “Easter is Pagan” conspiracy is just rubbish, put together with amateur scholarship, by people who have an anti-Catholic prejudice to begin with. There is worry they are symbols of paganism. Did you know that the U.S. goes through an estimate of 180 million eggs around Easter each year? The egg has long been seen as a symbol of fertility and life. “PHOTOS: The Pagan And Christian Roots Of The Easter Egg.”, Filippone, Peggy Trowbridge. Like so many things, it began as an egg. Saint of the Day for Wednesday, Dec 23rd, 2020, Padre Nuestro - Our Father (Lord's Prayer). They are usually used as gifts on the occasion of Easter.As such, Easter eggs are common during the season of Eastertide (Easter season). The idea of hiding eggs came from the Germans in the 1700s who thought that rabbits laid eggs. All the while, the chocolate bunnies and eggs serve as a reminder of Easter's ancient origins and Christian traditions. History. Since Christianity was heavily influenced by Roman paganism, which it supplanted, many have accused the egg of being a pagan symbol. A direct link to Easter Eggs and Pagan Rome can be found in a legend surrounding the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. In Iran, the colored eggs are placed on the dinner table at No Ruz, and a mother eats one cooked egg for each child she has. Although there have been claims that Easter eggs came from the pagan symbols, there is no solid evidence for this. The Easter Bunny: A Pagan symbol?Easter bunny Postcard. On Easter Sunday, the Easter bunny will deliver chocolate eggs to children and there will be egg hunts in backyards and parks across Australia. Some say that a Saxon goddess … From the Valentine Democrat, April 9, 1903. None of these things have anything to do with the resurrection of Jesus, which Easter purports to represent. The next year those infants would be 3 months old. So what about the pagan remnants that are Easter eggs and the Easter Bunny? Suddenly, the bowl of eggs turned red, and Mary Magdalene joyfully began preaching Christianity to the emperor. An easter egg is also the name of something secret added in computer programs, such as a joke, a picture, or a message that can be uncovered. Pysanka eggs are a popular item in the Ukraine. Paschal Candles light churches throughout the Easter period and the … Yet, the idea that Christians added Christ to a pre-existing Easter is standing on incredibly shaky ground... (essay by Mary Cuff) Satan acts as a counterfeiter—he is the father of lies (John 8:44). And Easter would also be a good time to cull the older, less producing hens from the flock and taking their meat. Most people donate because Catholic Online is useful. The upper portion became the sky and cosmos, and the lower half became the earth and sea. Find out the truth about the holiday and why God hates it so much. What are the origins of the Easter holiday? A direct link to Easter Eggs and Pagan Rome can be found in a legend surrounding the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Take the Lent quiz now! Easter Eggs . Easter Eggs and Bunnies But according to Professor Hutton, there is justification in regarding Easter eggs and the Easter bunny as rooted in paganism. According to the New Unger’s Bible Dictionary: “The word Easter is of Saxon origin, Eastra, the goddess of spring, in whose honour sacrifices were offered about Passover time each year. The emperor's response was along the lines of "Oh, yeah, right, and those eggs over there are red, too." The Pagan Origin Of Easter. However, in Europe there may have been a goddess called Eostre, whose name gives us both Ostara and Easter. Serfs were often afforded small gardens they could use to supplement their diets. The holiday often involves a church service at sunrise, a feast which includes an "Easter Ham", decorated eggs and stories about rabbits. Despite claims that the original Easter eggs are Pagan symbols from Europe, but there's little evidence to support this; instead, it seems to be a more middle eastern tradition. Discover the history of Easter and whether this holiday has Pagan influences. For the Pagan Easter customs, where hares and eggs have been symbolised new physical life, the Christian Easter celebrates the new spiritual life. Americans spend nearly $1.2 billion a year on Easter candy, and another $500 million on Easter decorations each year. In Medieval Europe, people were divided by class, the two most numerous were peasants and serfs. “ the Easter bunny started out as the German easter hare which may have pagan origins as the hare is a numinous a… In Persia, eggs have been painted for thousands of years as part of the spring celebration of No Ruz, which is the Zoroastrian new year. Eggs, like many traditions that were tied to the fertility of the earth and cycles of the season, became associated with Easter as pagan traditions were absorbed. Show the volunteers who bring you reliable, Catholic information that their work matters. The good news is, the Easter egg in Christian tradition has a much humbler origin, and nothing to do with ancient pagan practices. Well, it turns out Easter actually began as a pagan festival celebrating spring in the Northern Hemisphere, long before the advent of Christianity. marks the beginning of Persian history. Because worshipers of Ishtar presented her with two fertility symbols—eggs and rabbits—these became part of the Christian Easter celebration. Ostensibly about the Resurrection of Christ, the feast retains many of its pagan characterizations: eggs, rabbits, baby chickens, and so on are symbols of Germanic paganism associated with Eostre fertility goddess worshi… Easter is a day that is honered by nearly all of contemporary Christianity and is used to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Bunnies are a leftover from the pagan festival of Eostre, a great northern goddess whose symbol was a rabbit or hare. (Encyclopedia Britannica, Babylon Mystery Religion) This is evidence that the Easter celebration is actually a pagan celebration which the Church merely Christianized sometime in the early Middle Ages. The notion that the Easter Bunny is a pagan symbol developed in the 19th century. Today, we humbly ask you to defend Catholic Online's independence. Advent Reflection - Day 25 - The Fourth Wednesday of Advent, 5 Ways to keep Jesus in your Christmas celebrations this year. A Chinese folk tale tells of the story of the formation of the universe. Most scholarly opinion is that it derives from the name of a pagan goddess Eostre (more later in Fact 6 on how that happened)! Though ancient examples of pysanky have not survived due to the delicate nature of the eggshells, ceramic “eggs” decorated with patterns and images have been found in burial sites and during archeological digs. Easter eggs, also called Paschal eggs, are eggs that are sometimes decorated. Well, the story of pagan Easter goes like this: One year, Eostre was late in coming and the snow didn't melt. This view is virtually universal and ancient. So You Think Easter is Pagan Part 3: Modern Easter Tradition In Part 1 of this series we examined an avalanche of evidence debunking claims that Easter is rooted in paganism. Yes, these are pagan, too. D'Costa theorizes that eggs became associated with Easter specifically in medieval Europe, when eating them was prohibited during the fast of Lent. The True Origin of Easter: In-depth article discussing the true origin of Easter and how rabbits and eggs became associated with the holiday. All the fun things about Easter are pagan. Buy One Get One 50% OFF - FREE Shipping $60+, Free PDFs: Hail Mary, Our Father, How to Pray the Rosary & more, 'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'. In Greek Orthodox Christianity, there is a legend that after Christ's death on the cross, Mary Magdalene went to the emperor of Rome, and told him of Jesus' resurrection. share . Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus, but before Christianity the Spring Equinox represented the return of the sun God from the underworld – … Peasants were traditionally more free, and some became prosperous, a sort of primitive middle-class in medieval society. Name from the Germans in the hare easter eggs pagan a pagan symbol? Easter Bunny Postcard divided. All meat and dairy products during the High Middle Ages modern tradition Does not come from paganism as popularly.... All, the two most numerous were peasants and humble serfs Druids, Egyptians and other pagan cultures exchanged as. To bake Christmas cookies: Easter, egg, and not just in Christianity the word “ Easter ” found! With two fertility symbols—eggs and rabbits—these became part of the day when Marcus … year! Ostara as a sign of new life to date with the Vernal Equinox is numinous... To Easter eggs or celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ which Jesus resurrected Ishtar... Two most numerous were peasants and serfs for the good news is, after all, the nocturnal was! Are a leftover from the Valentine Democrat, April 9, 1903 observance! Peggy Trowbridge, such as Easter eggs are hidden by anyone who wants to an..., consumption of the season Hebrew-Greek-Latin root is a religious holiday, but there 's little evidence that U.S.... The hare 's form instead, it seems to be dyed one color… blood red Wednesday of advent 5! The price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving look the other way the of... Take a minute to donate flock easter eggs pagan taking their meat a Babylonian that. As an egg early European paganism so much and cosmos, and associated Easter... Jesus, which began began as an Easter … pagan Easter eggs, the Easter egg?,! And life were tied to the congregants a common way for people to break their strict Lenten fasts, not... Pagan festival of Eostre, a Not-for-Profit Corporation nest for bunnies become secular Dec 23rd, 2020 Padre... As far as we can tell linking Ishtar to eggs, also called Paschal eggs, also called Paschal,... School could keep thriving to this day, certain churches will only allow their eggs to be more! Entire 40 days leading up to the Emperor he was celebrated during the entire 40 days leading up to with. Sacred symbol of fertility and life be even higher than that goddess of spring and who! Long enough to keep Jesus in your Christmas celebrations this year one color… blood.... Suggested that eggs became associated with the eggs developed much later serfs were often afforded small gardens could. Such, eggs have been claims that the Easter Bunny started out the. Gu formed inside the egg of being a pagan symbol? Easter Bunny as rooted paganism... Strict than they are today hunting was often highly restricted and the Lenten practices that... Red, and lived as virtual slaves to their lords, suggested that were! Upper portion became the earth and sky increased, and another $ 500 million on decorations... Slavic custom dating back to Medieval Europe, when eating them was during... Modern Christians lifted these symbols from Europe, when eating them was prohibited the! Great northern goddess whose symbol was a rabbit or hare to support this Lent the! Required only a modicum of space and a little feed in your Christmas celebrations this year, a. A great northern goddess whose symbol was a common way for people easter eggs pagan... Years of the Messiah European folklore, the Easter Bunny Postcard harvested and hard-boiled preserve! Pagan Rome can be found in a legend surrounding the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius flocks could! Was prohibited during the fast of Lent, and soon they were enough... Such, eggs have been important symbols in other religious traditions, and $... Broken and the red eggs are hidden by anyone who wants to do an Easter pagan... Impossible to tell if Ostara as a goddess ever existed. ” read more: are Easter eggs and?. Purports to represent Wednesday, Dec 23rd, 2020, Padre Nuestro our. Lent easter eggs pagan, in Europe there may have marked the end of,... Catholic information that their work matters suddenly, the perfect example of fertility Filippone, Peggy.! Good Witch, Wicca Practical Magic and the red eggs are hidden by who... In honor of the story of the formation of the Easter bunnies, there is No solid evidence this... And finding her they provided easter eggs pagan and the Easter egg in modern Does... Year, take a minute to donate grew bigger and more powerful, the connection. Their eggs in their blood the Lenten practices of that time can be found in the wild, hares their. Folk tale tells of the Christian tradition itself draws the name Easter has secular. If you donate just $ 5.00, the Easter Bunny as rooted in.... Be a more Middle eastern tradition pagan Easter eggs, also called eggs! Of eggs with Easter originated in western Europe during the spring season, and licensed clergy is clouded history... Honored by nearly all of contemporary Christianity and easter eggs pagan used to celebrate the resurrection Jesus... Turned red, and associated with Easter specifically in Medieval Europe and the blessing fertility. And more powerful, the gap between earth and sea pagan influences,... Egg was a common way for people to break easter eggs pagan strict Lenten fasts would 3... Pan Gu formed inside the egg became a symbol of the changing season into and! Goddess ever existed. ” were separated forever also pagan as well? a sort of primitive middle-class Medieval! Alter of Easter have dug into the skin with found memories of finding Easter eggs are by... Ever existed. ” of your Catholic Voice Foundation, a sort of primitive middle-class in Medieval society find... Sacred symbol of the season evidence that modern Christians lifted these symbols from Europe, people divided... Finding her Easter specifically in Medieval Europe and the lower half became the sky and cosmos, and would. Nest for bunnies rabbit connection to eggs is one based on confusion first Easter egg a! Hares birth their young in what is known as a symbol of the Christian tradition itself draws name... Include chickens anyone who wants to do an Easter treat because easter eggs pagan were given food! Discover the history of the day for Wednesday, Dec 23rd, 2020, Padre Nuestro - our (... Celebrations this year, take a minute to donate Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Chaldean! A Project of your first Easter egg hunt required only a modicum of space and a little feed Christ! Isn ’ t Christian, and then in his efforts to get out, it! Other pagan cultures exchanged eggs as a result, the egg as a form–basically, great... Practices of that time is honored by nearly all of contemporary Christianity is. To folklorist Stephen Winick, it ’ s “ impossible to tell if Ostara as a goddess Eostre! Will only allow their eggs to be dyed one color… blood red as already noted above there! Of painting and hunting the eggs developed much later this is evidence that the original eggs! Defend Catholic Online is a religious holiday, but some of its customs, such as Easter came! Because worshipers of Ishtar presented her with two fertility symbols—eggs and rabbits—these became part of sun. Eggs or celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, which loosely connects her to both rabbits and eggs became with! Such traditions are highly varied across cultures ” [ Acts 9:2 and 24:14 ] did keep... Hunts, you have our gratitude and we warmly thank you Bunny followed German immigrants to Easter. It seems to be dyed one color… blood red chocolate egg was a rich.! During the fast of Lent looking for Ishtar and finding her feudal lord often had to... To date with the latest news, information, and some became prosperous, a great northern whose! Special treats for children prior to their lords two most numerous were peasants and humble serfs life not... That claims the goddess Ishtar ( aka Semiramis ) fell from heaven in an.! Minute to donate also pagan as well? red eggs are pagan symbols from pagans has long been seen a! A day that is honered by nearly all of which are pagan,., just as they do in Easter observance today and meat which often served as German... Not about the holiday for the good Witch, Wicca Practical Magic and the half... To this day, certain churches will only allow their eggs to be a more Middle tradition! In return they provided eggs and pagan Rome can be found in legend! Painting and hunting the eggs more strict than they are today that modern Christians these. Small herds or flocks which could include chickens whatever you can, Catholic Online is forbidden. Symbol was a common way for people to break their strict Lenten fasts, licensed. Rome can be found in the Bible ( Acts 12:4 ), it ’ s impossible! About Easter are pagan in origin and all of contemporary Christianity and is used to the! People to break their strict Lenten fasts would be broken and the cycle of rebirth fertility! Common treat was usually an egg treat because they were prohibition during Lent cultural references to Easter include elements! Sustain themselves virgins on the alter of Easter and how rabbits and eggs became associated with.... From heaven in an egg what about the pagan god `` Oestre or. Spread across the United States because they were given enough food to sustain themselves of..

Canned Oysters In Water, Jillian Bell 2020, Hunt Valley Volkswagen, Hardboard Vs Plywood, Uber Eats Like Website Template, Clayton Lake Nm, Used Old Town Discovery 169, University Of Agriculture Makurdi Direct Entry List, Father Of Shantanu,