Eostre The Goddess Of Easter
Eostre goddess of fertility
For Christians around the world, the arrival of spring indicates the season of Easter, and celebrating the resurrection of Christ is near. The roots of this religious holiday began in what is considered to be the pagan celebration of Eostre, the German goddess of fertility. On March 21 Anglo Saxons welcomed sweet springtime with rituals that included sex orgies, bunny rabbits and eggs as symbols of reproduction. Believers in Christ abhorred this type of celebration and decided to do something about it. They attempted to take the focus off of Eostre and put it on Christ instead.
This is why so many of the pagan customs have overlapped with celebrating Christ's resurrection and many consider Easter/Ostre/Eostre to be one and the same. Some people celebrate the coming of spring as representing new life and being reborn from winter and they don't acknowledge Eostre or the resurrection of Christ. This is why holidays and celebrations like beauty, are in the eye of the beholder.
Bunnies and eggs represent fertiity
The worship of Eostre with emphasis on bunnies and eggs to represent fertility was carried over into the Easter observances related to Christ's resurrection. When I was growing up in the late 1960's most everyone had Easter egg hunts and gave their children baskets with died eggs, candy, and chocolate bunnies. No one ever explained what this had to do with Jesus being resurrected, but it as accepted as part of our Easter celebration. Not one person ever mentioned Eostre or indicated that our activities were pagan in origin. The baskets, bunnies, dyed eggs, and egg hunts were simply childhood fun after the church Easter program was over.
Unknown to baby boomers and older generations was the fact that even the pastel colors of spring are said to have originated with the worship of Eostre. This will not stop those, however, who enjoy wearing bright colors to welcome the season of sun and fun. Wearing pastels and dying eggs does not equal goddess worship, any more than wearing red and black indicates one is in the Illuminati or a Satan worshipper..
Easter in the Bible
In the Bible, King Herod mentions the name Christians use today when talking about the resurrection of Christ. In Acts 12:4 King James version says this:
"And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people."
This was not the first observance of Christ rising from the dead but the King referring to the spring fertility celebration of Eostre or Ostre as is said in some cultures. For this reason many believers in Christ today refrain from using the wording E-A-S-T-E-R. They instead refer to the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox as Resurrection Sunday. These Christians believe that saying the word Easter is actually celebrating the pagan rituals of old.
Eostre, the resurrection and Easter
We live in a society where people believe and celebrate different things. If there are those among us who welcome spring by worshipping Eostre and believing she will bring fertility, they have the free will choice to do so. There is nothing wrong with Christians who say they want no part of "Easter Sunday." Likewise, if some believers in Christ desire to refer to the day as Resurrection Sunday, that is their right. This does not, however, indicate that anyone who dyes, hides and eats eggs, or enjoys a chocolate bunny is upholding a pagan ritual.
This is where the dispute comes in for those who believe Christ rose from the dead. This is also where a little common sense will go a long way. Americans have special foods for different occasions all through the year. Egg nog is for Christmas, Turkey is part of Thanksgiving, Apple cider is associated with harvest festivals and Halloween. People eat chocolate and boiled eggs every day of the year, so if one indulges during Holy week, it does not indicate they are bowing down to a pagan goddess. For many Christians, it is simply fun activities that are an extension of their faith in Christ and nothing more. Ironically, Jewish people include hard boiled, roasted, or pickled deviled eggs in their Passover Seder meal. Even so, when it comes to matters of tradition and religion, all we can do is agree to disagree.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Cheryl E Preston