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The good news is, the Easter egg in Christian tradition has a much humbler origin, and nothing to do with ancient pagan practices. “PHOTOS: The Pagan And Christian Roots Of The Easter Egg.”, Filippone, Peggy Trowbridge. As for Easter eggs and bunnies, there is little evidence that modern Christians lifted these symbols from pagans. All the while, the chocolate bunnies and eggs serve as a reminder of Easter's ancient origins and Christian traditions. A Chinese folk tale tells of the story of the formation of the universe, which began began as an egg. “Since pre-historic times, people have celebrated the equinoxes and the solstices as sacred times,” University of Sydney Professor Carole Cusack said. Suffice to say,  such traditions are highly varied across cultures. 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. Peasants were traditionally more free, and some became prosperous, a sort of primitive middle-class in medieval society. Embarrassing “J” In The Pagan Easter Eggs and Chocolate. Easter Eggs: Pagan Ritual or Christian Symbol? 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. The exact origin of this tradition is clouded by history, but there are two likely origins. Show the volunteers who bring you reliable, Catholic information that their work matters. Did you color real eggs? Perfectly pagan Easter eggs Easter Eggs. Easter eggs, also called Paschal eggs, are eggs that are sometimes decorated. For the Pagan Easter customs, where hares and eggs have been symbolised new physical life, the Christian Easter celebrates the new spiritual life. Bunnies are a leftover from the pagan festival of Eostre, a great northern goddess whose symbol was a rabbit or hare. “ People all over the world, as far as China have given eggs at spring festival as symbols of the season, so the Lenten prohibition just absorbed that,’ said Professor Hutton. Like so many things, it began as an egg. By Julie Beckwith McGough and Pastor Dave Beckwith . There is today an extensive mythology surrounding egg painting and hunting and other practices associated with the eggs. The holiday often involves a church service at sunrise, a feast which includes an "Easter Ham", decorated eggs and stories about rabbits. Of course! EGG – A sacred symbol of rebirth and fertility among the Babylonians, Druids, Egyptians and other pagan cultures. Pisanica is a decorated Croatian Easter egg that comes from an old Slavic custom dating back to pagan times. Most scholarly opinion is that it derives from the name of a pagan goddess Eostre (more later in Fact 6 on how that happened)! Pagan Easter Goddess Ostera. 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. A Chinese folk tale tells of the story of the formation of the universe. The Pagan Roots of Easter. Should a Bible believer celebrate Easter? Learn Religions uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. HAPPY EASTER. Towards the end of Lent however, eggs could be harvested and hard-boiled to preserve them long enough to keep until Easter. The next year those infants would be 3 months old. It is, after all, the perfect example of fertility and the cycle of rebirth. Finding a delicious chocolate egg was a rich reward. The association of eggs with Easter originated in western Europe during the High Middle Ages. To this day, certain churches will only allow their eggs to be dyed one color… blood red. Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. A direct link to Easter Eggs and Pagan Rome can be found in a legend surrounding the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. The fingernails of Easter have dug into the skin with found memories of finding Easter eggs or celebrating the resurrection of the Messiah. So does it have any Pagan roots? Does it matter ? Few people realize that Easter is not about the resurrection of Christ. Even though the etymological root of the word Easter may be linked to the name of a pagan goddess or pagan ceremonies, the feast which the word describes is Christian without question. They are usually used as gifts on the occasion of Easter.As such, Easter eggs are common during the season of Eastertide (Easter season). 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. Easter eggs are blessed by the priest at the end of the Paschal vigil and distributed to the congregants. Author Jacob Grimm, of Grimm's fairy tales, suggested that eggs were a symbol of early European Paganism. 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. Those who claim that Easter is a pagan holiday usually mean that the word Easter is etymologically linked to the name of an ancient goddess or that various pagan groups also held ceremonies in the springtime. So what about the pagan remnants that are Easter eggs and the Easter Bunny? marks the beginning of Persian history. Easter eggs are a widely popular symbol of new life in Russia, Romania, Ukraine, Poland and other east European countries’ folk traditions. For Christians, the Easter egg is symbolic of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. This is evidence that the Easter celebration is actually a pagan celebration which the Church merely Christianized sometime in the early Middle Ages. It's wild to think about, but with so many traditions surrounding eggs for the holiday, it's not surprising.. For those of you as curious about these Easter gems as I am, let's take a more in-depth look. Easter Eggs and Bunnies But according to Professor Hutton, there is justification in regarding Easter eggs and the Easter bunny as rooted in paganism. Most cultural references to Easter include these elements, most of which are pagan in origin and all of which have become commercialized. Early Christian believers, known as “The Way” [Acts 9:2 and 24:14] did not keep Easter. There are some claims that the original Easter eggs are Pagan symbols from Europe, but there's little evidence to support this. The customs of Easter involving bunnies, colored eggs, candles, and lilies were all adapted from pagan religions, as was the name Easter itself. Yes - God’s Word commands us to separate ourselves from false religion and to “worship the Father with spirit and truth.” Posted 14 Apr April 2017 Fri Friday 14 Apr April 2017 at 11:30pm Share He was celebrated during the spring season, and associated with birds. As a result, the egg became a symbol of the holiday for the common people. But where did Easter come from? Although eggs were a symbol of fertility and rebirth in pagan cultures, Easter eggs were used by early Christians to symbolize parts of the Easter story. By using Learn Religions, you accept our. 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. A direct link to Easter Eggs and Pagan Rome can be found in a legend surrounding the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Did you know that the U.S. goes through an estimate of 180 million eggs around Easter each year? 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. 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. Winick was able to track down the earliest mentions of this Pagan myth in print, which was in the 19th century, but there’s no trace of it’s apparent ancient origins. Easter is known for its bunny rabbits, colored eggs, hot cross buns, and the return of springtime. If you donate just $5.00, or whatever you can, Catholic Online could keep thriving for years. Eostre - Spring Goddess or NeoPagan Fancy? Exactly why the English language did not utilize the Hebrew-Greek-Latin root is a mystery. But what is the true m Easter’s supposed pre-Christian spring ritual roots are an opportunity to make the feast simply about bunnies, spring flowers, and eggs—all signs of spring without any of that obnoxious cross or empty tomb nonsense. Many ancient pagan cultures exchanged eggs as a celebration of the changing season into spring and the blessing of fertility. They are usually used as gifts on the occasion of Easter.As such, Easter eggs are common during the season of Eastertide (Easter season). Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus, but before Christianity the Spring Equinox represented the return of the sun God from the underworld – … Is this true? Yes, these are pagan, too. Well, it turns out Easter actually began as a pagan festival celebrating spring in the Northern Hemisphere, long before the advent of Christianity. If you are one of our rare donors, you have our gratitude and we warmly thank you. The good news is, the Easter egg in modern tradition does not come from paganism as popularly believed. Wikimedia Commons. If Catholic Online has given you $5.00 worth of knowledge this year, take a minute to donate. They required only a modicum of space and a little feed. Get your oven mitts ready, it's time to bake Christmas cookies. The Easter egg is a Babylonian legend that claims the goddess Ishtar (aka Semiramis) fell from heaven in an egg. Easter History. The Easter Bunny: A Pagan symbol?Easter bunny Postcard. In some early cultures, the nocturnal hare was actually considered a symbol of the moon. It was a common way for people to break their strict Lenten fasts, and as such became a prominent symbol of the season. The Christian tradition itself draws the name from the pagan god "Oestre" or "Eastre." The day when Marcus … If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. And Easter would also be a good time to cull the older, less producing hens from the flock and taking their meat. For example, the use of a tree with lights, the giving of gifts, feasting and the use of Easter eggs and bunnies were all common pagan practices. 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'. I’m going to explore the symbolism behind the pagan version of the Easter holiday, celebrated on March 21st-22nd. This word has Germanic roots and refers to the eastern direction from which the sun rises. 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. 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. Christian’s justify eggs as an Easter … Winick was able to track down the earliest mentions of this Pagan myth in print, which was in the 19th century, but there’s no trace of it’s apparent ancient origins. But are Easter eggs and bunnies also pagan as well?! The character of the "Easter bunny" first appeared in 16th-century German writings, which said that if well-behaved children built a nest out of their caps or bonnets, they would be rewarded with colored eggs. In return they provided eggs and meat which often served as the primary source of protein for these people. 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. In exchange for their life of servitude, they were given enough food to sustain themselves. Easter Eggs. Easter eggs also figured in the idolatrous Chaldean rites, just as they do in Easter observance today? Painting Easter eggs is an especially beloved tradition in the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches where the eggs are dyed red to represent the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on the cross. Those who love truth… (Encyclopedia Britannica, Babylon Mystery Religion) Easter is a religious holiday, but some of its customs, such as Easter eggs, are likely linked to pagan traditions. Hunting was often highly restricted and the feudal lord often had rights to the choicest cuts. Since Christianity was heavily influenced by Roman paganism, which it supplanted, many have accused the egg of being a pagan symbol. 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. “The spring equinox is a day where the amount of dark and the amount of daylight is … Are these origins Christian or Pagan? The Venerable Bede describes Eostre as a goddess with fertility associations, which loosely connects her to both rabbits and eggs. Not at all as far as we can tell. Christian Australians will attend church services and the majority of secular Australians will enjoy the four-day … The question is why Christians did so - to cover up some great conspiracy or to uncover some great truths? Because sunrise at the beginning of spring was the holiest day in the Mithraic calendar (next to December 25), the practice of Easter … In many cultures, the egg is viewed as the symbol of new life. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. The Pagan Origin Of Easter. Patti Wigington is a pagan author, educator, and licensed clergy. 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 festival of No Ruz predates the reign of Cyrus the Great, whose rule (580–529 b.c.e.) The Easter egg as a symbol of the season dates back to Medieval Europe and the Lenten practices of that time. The upper portion became the sky and cosmos, and the lower half became the earth and sea. 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. Barooah, Jahnabi. It's wild to think about, but with so many traditions surrounding eggs for the holiday, it's not surprising.. For those of you as curious about these Easter gems as I am, let's take a more in-depth look. They would kill the infants and dye eggs in their blood. This left eggs as a ready source of protein for both peasants and humble serfs. A deity named Pan Gu formed inside the egg, and then in his efforts to get out, cracked it into two halves. There is worry they are symbols of paganism. For example, the use of a tree with lights, the giving of gifts, feasting and the use of Easter eggs and bunnies were all common pagan practices. Tags: 2500 bc abraham attis birth christ christians cybele easter easter orthodox easter tradition Egypt egypt god ezekiel false god god god story isaac ishtar Jesus jesus resurrection life name easter old testament pagan easter story pagan god passover resurrection six months story tammuz tradition virgin birth. This is from my ... Easter Eggs. The notion that the Easter Bunny is a pagan symbol developed in the 19th century. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. Chickens were a popular source of protein for medieval people. History. Some of these traditions have even evolved into new traditions such as the annual White House Easter Egg Roll here in the United States which began in 1876. Easter is a day that is honered by nearly all of contemporary Christianity and is used to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. “Easter Eggs: The Origins of Easter Day's Egg Association.”. As such, eggs have been important symbols in other religious traditions, and not just in Christianity. 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. 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. Is Easter pagan? Dressed in your Sunday best and basket in hand, you ran through the grass hoping to fill your basket with eggs before the others did. The practice of painting and hunting the eggs developed much later. Lenten observations of the medieval period were more strict than they are today. Suddenly, the bowl of eggs turned red, and Mary Magdalene joyfully began preaching Christianity to the emperor. But what does this imply? All the fun things about Easter are pagan. Find out the truth about the holiday and why God hates it so much. Oestre is the Teutonic goddess of spring and dawn who is very closely associated with the Vernal Equinox. Today, we humbly ask you to defend Catholic Online's independence. When the hares abandoned a form, it was sometimes taken over by plovers, who would then lay their eggs in it. Because worshipers of Ishtar presented her with two fertility symbols—eggs and rabbits—these became part of the Christian Easter celebration. 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. None of these things have anything to do with the resurrection of Jesus, which Easter purports to represent. This tradition stems from a pre-Christian custom in which eggs were covered in wax and decorated in honor of the sun god Dazhboh. Easter Eggs . The exact number might be even higher than that. So where does the word Easter come from? “ the Easter bunny started out as the German easter hare which may have pagan origins as the hare is a numinous a… 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… Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers. First, we’ll consider the idea that Easter is a pagan holiday because the name Easter has pagan origins. The character of the "Easter bunny" first appeared in 16th-century German writings, which said that if well-behaved children built a nest out of their caps or bonnets, they would be rewarded with colored eggs. Christians and non-Christians alike celebrate Easter in decidedly non-Christian ways: with chocolate and other forms of Easter candy, Easter eggs, Easter egg hunts, the Easter bunny, and so forth. 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. READ MORE: Are Easter Eggs pagan or Christian? 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. Easter eggs represent the empty tomb from which Jesus resurrected. Advent Reflection - Day 25 - The Fourth Wednesday of Advent, 5 Ways to keep Jesus in your Christmas celebrations this year. The Easter Bunny followed German immigrants to the American colonies in the 18th century and the folklore spread across the United States. Did you know that the U.S. goes through an estimate of 180 million eggs around Easter each year? Bunnies are a leftover from the pagan festival of Eostre.” Hot cross buns are related to “Israelites baking sweet buns for an idol, and religious leaders trying to put a stop to it.” Eventually, “defiant cake-baking pagan women” were successful and a cross was added to the buns to Christianize them. Saved from sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net. Take the Lent quiz now! What are the origins of the Easter holiday? As a result, many eggs were lost during the early part of the season. In European folklore, the rabbit connection to eggs is one based on confusion. Pysanka eggs are a popular item in the Ukraine. And the Easter bunny? Some say that a Saxon goddess … In Medieval Europe, people were divided by class, the two most numerous were peasants and serfs. According to folklorist Stephen Winick, it’s “impossible to tell if Ostara as a goddess ever existed.”. Is it ok to celebrate Yehovah with Easter eggs and bunnies? “What Is the History of the Easter Egg?”, Waxman, Olivia B. But according to Professor Hutton, there is justification in regarding Easter eggs and the Easter bunny as rooted in paganism. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law. 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. As such, they had to fend for themselves, but often tended small herds or flocks which could include chickens. Instead, it seems to be a more middle eastern tradition. Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited. But what about all the Easter bunnies, eggs and family egg hunts, you ask? It appears likely that Christian celebration eventually borrowed certain traditions from pagan holidays. The Pagan Origin Of Easter The Pagan Cross of Tammuz and the Pagan Trinity - The TRUTH behind the Christopaganism by Rav Sha'ul . In addition to feeding at night, the hare's gestation period is approximately 28 days, which is the same length as a full lunar cycle. The holiday often involves a church service at sunrise, a feast which includes an "Easter Ham", decorated eggs and stories about rabbits. In the early years of the Church, eating eggs was forbidden during Lent. The egg has long been seen as a symbol of fertility and life. On Easter, Lenten fasts would be broken and the most common treat was usually an egg. The exact number might be even higher than that. Do you remember the excitement of your first Easter egg hunt? The True Origin of Easter: In-depth article discussing the true origin of Easter and how rabbits and eggs became associated with the holiday. The holiday often involves a church service at sunrise, a feast which includes an "Easter Ham", decorated eggs and stories about rabbits. D'Costa theorizes that eggs became associated with Easter specifically in medieval Europe, when eating them was prohibited during the fast of Lent. In the wild, hares birth their young in what is known as a form–basically, a nest for bunnies. 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. Easter eggs are hidden by anyone who wants to do an Easter egg hunt. Although there have been claims that Easter eggs came from the pagan symbols, there is no solid evidence for this. Jehovah's Witnesses and atheists are fond of pointing this out to Christians, and arguing that Christians should eschew the egg for that reason. 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. Mary Magdalene and the red eggs aren't the earliest examples of eggs as a spring symbol. This view is virtually universal and ancient. “All the fun things about Easter are pagan. According to folklorist Stephen Winick, it’s “impossible to tell if Ostara as a goddess ever existed.”. Found in a legend surrounding the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius pagan and Christian Roots of the traditional Christian Easter.. There is No evidence linking Ishtar to eggs is one based on confusion tradition is clouded by history, often... A modicum of space and a little feed patti Wigington is a pagan holiday because the name has... Sacred symbol of the season dates back to Medieval Europe, people refrained all. They simply look the other way most cultural references to Easter include elements. The fun things about Easter are pagan in origin and all of which pagan... Get your oven mitts ready, it ’ s “ impossible to tell if Ostara as sign... 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