What was the The Pagan Origin of Easter??

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easter pagan origin

The Easter Sunday celebration is a Christian tradition that is widely practiced throughout the world. Christians commemorate the start of the Advent with a special breakfast service in the Church, followed by the celebration of “Easter’s Day” at noon. In addition to the mass attendance, there are great pomp and circumstance surrounding the entire event. For this reason, many people wonder what the true meaning of Easter actually is. Is it a pagan festival?

 

Historically, Easter was a very important festival in the ancient Roman calendar. The spring equinox was a key religious festival. In many civilizations, eggs were used as symbols of fertility and youth. While this practice has been adopted into Christian worship in modern times, the true roots of the Easter Egg remain firmly within Pagan traditions.

 

The first reference to Easter comes from Acts of Apostles, a book of missionary stories. This book relates the experiences of a young woman named Mary who is claimed to be the mother of Jesus. Mary and her husband Joseph were on a mission out of Nazareth when they were arrested by an Emperor. Joseph was temporarily released, while his mother and sister were sold into slavery to a wealthy Jew. When Mary returned home, she and her husband celebrated Easter and Mary became pregnant.

 

Christianity celebrates the beginning of the Lent period in March. The Lent holiday marks the end of the Roman summer and the start of winter. Fertility was a major concern at this time. Because Lent began after the Jewish Passover, the observance of the Jewish holiday required extra precautions for Christians because Passover was a day of crucifixion and death. Christians were not allowed to celebrate Passover because it was during a time of great famine in the world.

 

During the late summer and early fall, the population in Israel was extremely small. This population dip was caused by the high mortality rate caused by war, plague, and the devastation of neighboring regions. Because of the shortage of manpower, many infants died before birth and many mothers lost their ability to nurse. With no nurses available to help, many women had to rely on others to give them milk so they could nurse. Mary, being a relative of Mary Magdalene, was in charge of ensuring that the women had a plentiful supply of milk and food. It was believed by many that she somehow had the power to magically produce abundant milk just by looking at eggs.

 

Many centuries later, Mary’s mystical powers would become a common source of enlightenment for many Christians. Through biblical stories and readings, it was discovered that the early Christians were able to understand the meaning of the fertility symbols found on the Easter egg. Each egg represents one of the twelve apostles, and each represents a month of the year. Every four years, the eggs miraculously change color symbolizing the cycle of the year.

 

As Christianity gained popularity, converts from the Pagan faith left their Pagan past behind and embraced Christianity. They began to decorate Easter eggs with crosses, beads, icons, flowers and more. Many Christians also believed that eggs laid on this day was representative of the miraculous coming of the Lord. One legend says that when the eggs were smashed by the evil witch, the symbol of fertility would be destroyed forever. This legend may have inspired many early Christians to break eggs on this day, hoping to destroy the symbol of the Pagan fertility god.

 

Whether you believe this story or not, many people do now lay eggs on Easter Day. No matter which side of the question you decide to go with, Easter is a special day with spiritual meanings that are ancient and intertwined with Christian history. The Pagan and the Christian heritage both have something to gain from the rich old tradition of fertility. In fact, the roots of Easter are still very much a part of Pagan fertility traditions today, even as some of the old customs are lost in modern Christianity.

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