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ABOUT EASTER BUNNIES AND EGGS

by : peter fredson
Friday April 6, 2007 - 22:27
3 comments

ABOUT EASTER BUNNIES AND EGGS

By Peter Fredson. March 6, 2007

Replay by Request

A nephew in Mexico e-mailed me a question concerning Easter. His wife is a school teacher, and her pupils wanted to know why in the U.S. bunnies and colored eggs are associated with Easter. Most of the Mexican pupils were raised as Catholics and they only know of the alleged crucifixion, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ in connection with Easter symbolism (Las Pascuas). No bunnies, no Easter Eggs. How did that occur?

My nephew sent the query to me as he knew I was interested in “weird” traditions of many societies, and had access to many resources. “And”, he said, “You have a curious turn of mind.”

The query sent me to my computer and to www.search.com, a magnificent search engine. I typed in the word “EASTER” and soon found thousands of references to that festival. What I found was so interesting that I would like to pass it on to you.

I learned that Easter was not of Christian origin, nor was it originally a Biblical festival, but that the Holy Roman Catholic Church had taken ancient customs dealing with the Vernal Equinox and invested them with new symbolism for church liturgy commemorating events of their Christian sacred literature. This is part of syncretism, or the merging of customs and traditions.

I will deal only with the pre-Christian aspects of Easter as there is a vast and complex literature dealing with the Christian aspects, far beyond my competence.

Easter is a small part of the natural processes and events dealing with the rotation of the earth, marked by solstices and equinoxes, and seasons such as winter and spring.

In ancient times people observed that the sun appeared to wane and die in winter, and they held rituals to attempt to revive the sun. In many parts of the world winter is a time for harsh cold, or drought, vegetation does not grow and it is a time of scarcity. Central to each society was observance of an annual vegetation cycle in which life was renewed each spring and died each fall. People found deep symbolic significance in the natural processes of growth, death, decay, new life and renewal

About 8,000 B.C. in the ancient East people turned to cultivation of the earth. It was vital for agrarian people to sow and harvest crops and be able to store food for the cold or dry season. Thus observation of the seasons became tremendously important, and rituals marking solstices and equinoxes were established in many parts of the world.

There are two equinoxes, which are times when the sun is directly above the equator and the daylight hours are approximately as long as the night-time hours. These are natural events and are of great importance for horticultural or agricultural societies. The vernal equinox marks the beginning of spring, with the return of light and warmth, budding of trees, growth of vegetation, nesting of birds, and the birth of litters to animals. In many societies this involved not only the sowing of crops but the observance of joyous festivities with food and drink.

In many societies the natural process of growth and decay was linked to supernatural entities that were considered to embody important virtues and aspects. It was common, for instance, to consider the earth as a female deity, and the sun as male, and to propitiate them to insure continued fertility and warmth. . In the Near and Middle East there were several mother or earth deities connected to spring. What we call Easter may come from ancient Babylon and Phoenicia. It began as Beltis, a day honoring the Queen of Heaven, and was later called Ishtar, Astarte, or Easter. Astarte, or Ashtart, was a great goddess of the ancient Near East, chief deity of Tyre, Sidon, and Elath, important Mediterranean seaports.

Her Mesopotamian and Akkadian counterpart was Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess of love, fertility, nature, sex and war, and in Sumeria and Assyria she was called Mylitta and Inanna. Later she became assimilated with the Egyptian deities Isis and Hathor. She was associated with stored food and personified as the goddess of dates, wool, meat, and grain. She was also the goddess of rain and thunderstorms. Inanna was also a fertility figure, she was characterized as young, beautiful, and impulsive. She was very popular in the Middle East.

In northern countries spring was referred to as the earth mother, goddess of fertility and rebirth, named Eostre or Ostara (approximately March 21.) Part of her spring rituals were celebrated by the hare or rabbit which gave birth to litters, as symbolic of the renewal of life and fertility. Birds nesting in the trees give rise to the use of eggs as the symbol of new life. In some societies the eggs are colored, and in the commercial U.S. both rabbits and eggs are made of chocolate.

The Easter egg emanates from the oldest civilizations, where the egg symbol was part of myths of the creation of the world. According to this, heaven and earth were formed from the two halves of a mysterious World-Egg. The Easter egg is associated with this World-Egg, the original germ from which some people believed all life proceeds, and whose shell is the firmament. So there is a link between the egg and the ideas or feelings of birth, new life, and creation. Persians first began using colored eggs to celebrate spring in 3,000 B.C.

Easter eggs have a very long ancestry. In their modern chocolate or cardboard form they date only from the later years of the last century, but giving real eggs, colored or gilded at Easter and also at the pre-Christian spring celebrations are infinitely older.

Easter egg decorating is an Old World tradition that was brought to U.S. shores by Pennsylvania Dutch settlers in the early 1700’s.

By the late nineteenth century, a New Jersey druggist, William Townley, had begun selling small packets of Easter egg dye to mothers in his neighborhood. In 1880, Townley founded Townley’s Easter Egg Dye to produce and sell the packets for 5 cents each. Townley, whose early customers had been Pennsylvania Dutch, soon changed the company’s name to PAAS Dye Company. The word PAAS was derived from the Pennsylvania Dutch word "Passen," meaning Easter.

Eggs were regarded as symbols of continuing life and resurrection. Persians and Greeks exchanged them at spring festivals .as part of seeding ceremonies which held promise of new life

The customs surrounding the celebration of the spring equinox may have been imported from Mediterranean lands, but we know that that the first inhabitants of the British Isles observed it, as evidence from megalithic sites shows.

The Celtic Spring Goddess was Eostra which marked the Spring Equinox. She was pictured wearing green clothing, holding an egg in her hand, with rabbits at her feet, while birds flew above her, and her head crowned with Spring flowers. Hares were sacrificed to her. Some tribes called the Goddess of Spring Esther.

"Easter" is derived from Eastre, Ostrae, or Eostre, the Anglo-Saxon lunar Goddess of spring and dawn and fertility. (From whom we get the name of the female hormone, estrogen). There is some historical connection existing between the words "Easter" and "East," where the sun rises. The festival was celebrated on the day of the Vernal Equinox when Anglo-Saxons offered eggs to Eostre.

Eostre, the goddess of spring, was worshipped in northern and central parts of Europe. Her name may come from the word to describe the direction of the sunrise - "east." Some think the word Easter came from the same source. Every spring people in these regions held festivals to honor and thank Eostre. They offered her cakes that were similar to hot cross buns.

Thus we have Astarte, Ishtar, Ostara, Oestre, Eostre, Eostra, Esther from whom the name “Easter” derives.




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ABOUT EASTER BUNNIES AND EGGS
Saturday April 7 - 02:42 - Posted by 334dc1329330a17d...

Quite accurate and of course the last thing that those who have invested their lives in beliving ,would know(Christians)....not to mention those who are stupid enough to sacrifice their and their children’s lives in defence of.....Christians know less about their belief system then athiests and Muslims do!!!!
..............just where the Zionists want them....stupid angry and motivated(reference to 9-11)




ABOUT EASTER BUNNIES AND EGGS
Saturday April 7 - 05:24 - Posted by 7358747003654297...

You’re right, in a way. I run into all kinds of groups, sub-groups, subsets of sub-groups, and people simply grouped based upom perceived likenesses, and yes, many people whom we might toss in to the category of "those who call themselves Christians" can be as uniformed and prejudicial as the next"group". In reality though the label "Christians" might easily be as diverse of a group as "jews" or "wiccans" or "blacks" or "women" or "men" or "democrats" or "liberals" or.... you get the idea. Don’t forget as "narrow minded" as *some* so called "x-ians" can be, the NWO Crowd wants to DESTROY even "christianity", it is a *threat* to their TOTAL taker of EVERY "competing" thing. Don’t forget HONEST PRACTICING CHRISTIANS will be one of the groups the NWO will attack because many Christians I know Personally will NEVER accept, of their own free will, the "Mark of The BEAST" system amd technology like 24/7 cradle to grave VERICHIP implanted mindless GODLESS (whatever your view of ’god’) commercial,worshipping of the ONe World TOTALTITARIAN System of The *Anti-Christ*.

Many so called "non-Christians" I think sell many so called "Christians" short not realizing there are many, many, many, very enlightened parts of that "group" (label)— depending I guess where you draw the boundries— of that set or subset. People that "attack " groups or labels or subsets need to try and be as accurate as they can, so they don’t simply look like they are promoting, even unintentionally, *prejudicial* thinking. It’s hard.The trick I think is to try one’s best to identify the *behavior* that is troublesome , rather than say perhaps focusing upon a hard to define group. It’s a fine line and I realize again it’s often hard to separate the "behavior" from the person or "group". The main thing left I guess, is to realize there are many people of all groups that are decent ,caring, peace loving, wonderful neigbors many are not. I’ll look for the good ’christians" and praise them for their aid to humanity,just as I’ll rail against those who preach hatred, murder, and assassination of their fellow man and woman. Peace,all.

T.A.



ABOUT EASTER BUNNIES AND EGGS
Sunday April 8 - 04:41 - Posted by c3b460638b185441...

Mr. Fredson: And you just learned this recently? That many if not all of these Easter customs are Celtic/Druidic in origin? And you call yourself educated?
Too many ’educated’ people in America lack basic curiosity, especially about their own origins and history, which makes me wonder about not only the overall quality of American public education, but also its ultimate purpose. Not to be curious about the customs we were brought up on, especially bizarre ones like the Easter bunny and Santa Claus, two very un-Christian concepts I might add, is a sign of an atrophied mind. Here in America we have way too many atrophied minds, and it’s not because of the water we drink or the food we eat, at least not entirely. I fault public education for this egregious lack of curiousity amongst so many affluent Americans, or, to be more accurate, the huge, money-grabbing bureaucracy that is responsible for what passes as public education in this country.
I truly believe that Home Schooling is the only way to bring up a healthy child with an independent and active mind in today’s world. Public education in America undermines a child’s mental growth. A child who grows up to become a curious and intelligent person in America today, grew up that way in spite of public education, not because of it.







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