Easter, Eastre and Astarte
Did you know that March 21 — Ostara — Spring or The Vernal Equinox is known as Lady Day or Alban Eiler (Druidic) Easter is tied into Ostara because it is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox.
Remember as a child on Easter how We couldn’t wait to find the baskets the Easter Bunny hid?. They were filled with colored hard boiled eggs and candy in the shapes of chocolate bunnies, eggs, and lambs, jelly beans and marshmallow chicks. My grandmother would hide Easter eggs in our house or in the yard, and we, the grandchildren, had our own egg hunts. I continued this celebration for my own children and they do the same for my grandchildren. I never thought to think of where this holiday originated.
So,what is the origin of the actual Easter holiday? It is generally accepted that the day chosen by the Christian Church to celebrate the resurrection, was a day which had been celebrated by pagans from antiquity. The Roman Catholic Church instituted a lot of traditions and pagan customs which facilitated the Christian conversion of European Pagans. When the early Christians set out to convert the Pagans, they discovered conversion was easier if they adopted Pagan customs and traditions because It is very difficult to get a culture to simply give up a ritualistic holiday. So they redefined it over time to celebrate a new definition.
The Easter holiday had a great many pagan customs which celebrated the return of spring. Estre, is a Teutonic goddess of the rising light of day and spring. Her festival was celebrated on the day of the spring equinox.
The English word Easter comes from “Eostre” or “Eastre”. Eastre is also known as Astarte or Ashtaroth the Queen of Heaven.
What do Easter Bunnies, Eggs, and the word estrogen have in common? Find out tomorrow for part 2 of 4 part article about Easter.
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