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Thread: Easter is Coming!

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    Easter is Coming!

    Or is it? Or is She, indeed?

    As is commonly known, Easter is a Heathen holiday, appropriated by the Christianisers many centuries ago. Elsewhere in Christendom, the holiday still bears a name recogniseably adapted from the Jewish Pesach; Paskha, Pascal, etc. Here in the North however, popular feeling was enough to ensure that the old name was preserved up till the present day. The most obvious accoutrements are blatantly unChristian too.

    This year, we in the West will be celebrating the Holy Day this weekend. Unusually early. Christians in the East will wait till the 27th April (14th April according to their older Julian Calendar). Many of our ancestors in the Celtic lands also celebrated on a date different to that determined by the Roman Church. Blood has been shed on the matter even! Bede got hot under the collar while condemning the Welsh for celebrating on the 'wrong' day. My Royal Namesake resolved for the English that we would adopt the Roman custom, thus sealing the fate of peripheral Celtic Church 'Easter'.

    When you go into the mathematics of the movement of Easter, the thing seems even more perverse. And nowadays, in a more secular age, I have heard many complain about the difficulties in planning holidays and so on, due to the esoteric movements of this holiday.

    I would therefore like to ask our Heathen members if it's at all possible to state when real Easter was celebrated, before the name was given to something alien and moveable. Was there a link with such fixed events as the solstices and equinoxes?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oswiu View Post
    Was there a link with such fixed events as the solstices and equinoxes?
    Probably, yes, I'm going with the spring equinox. I'm not entirely convinced that the original name of the pagan holiday was Easter, but it seems that we really don't know exactly. Probably, there were several names of it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesDexterWard View Post
    I'm not entirely convinced that the original name of the pagan holiday was Easter, but it seems that we really don't know exactly. Probably, there were several names of it.
    The German, Scandinavian and English terms are all clear cognates, and I believe our historian the Venerable Bede explicitly states that Eostre was a Goddess for Heathen Englishmen. I might try and find the extract now, actually.

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    A few items:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eostre


    http://englishheathenism.homestead.com/eostre.html


    Might make a nice avatar for one of the ladies of the forum:


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    Thanks, Allenson! Yes, here's the important bit from Bede:
    Quote Originally Posted by Bede
    Eostur-monath has a name which is now translated Paschal month, and which was once called after a goddess of theirs named Eostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated in that month. (Eostur-monath, qui nunc paschalis mensis interpretatur, quondam a dea illorum quae Eostre vocabatur et cui in illo festa celebrabant nomen habuit.) Now they designate that Paschal season by her name, calling the joys of the new rite by the time-honoured name of the old observance.
    It seems that the non-English forms I have heard are due mostly to Grimm's influence, and revitalisation movements?

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    That is the Pagan side of it, Easter eggs and rabbits.............

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    Quote Originally Posted by schwab View Post
    That is the Pagan side of it, Easter eggs and rabbits.............
    Yes. Last I checked there were no bunnies or eggs when Jesus was crucified then resurrected.

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