ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Why Do Non-Christians Celebrate Easter?

Updated on October 27, 2015
Why do non-Christians celebrate Easter?
Why do non-Christians celebrate Easter? | Source

Christian's don't hold sole right to the celebration of Easter. In fact, the holiday is named for a Teuton goddess named Ostara!

Christians Don't Have a Monopoly on Easter

Christians celebrate Easter as the day that Jesus rose from the dead, fulfilling prophecy and saving His followers from their sins. But why do non-Christian people of varying persuasions celebrate Easter? Did you know that there is a pagan Easter, or that the celebration of Easter may have originated in pagan practices?

While Easter is most known as a Christian holiday, religious pagans (also sometimes known as witches or wiccans) celebrate their own Spring feast, which they refer to as Ostara, named for the Goddess of the same name (also called Eostre or Ishtar). But what are these celebrations all about, and do these non-Christian people have the same right to the holiday as those celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ?

Yes, of course they do!

Many of the symbols of Easter are pagan in their origins. Of course pagans have a right to celebrate their Easter.
Many of the symbols of Easter are pagan in their origins. Of course pagans have a right to celebrate their Easter. | Source

Why do Pagans Celebrate Easter?

Pagans honor the Goddess Ostara (Eostre or Ishtar) during the Spring (or Vernal) Equinox in a celebration of fertility and coming newness of the Earth. Many Christians find this practice offensive as fertility rituals in paganism often involve physical intimacy of a sort that is representative of the sex act, which of course brings about reproduction. This is, after all, what fertility is all about.

Many Christian or secular people may not be aware that paganism is a group of religions. Rather than a single religion called "paganism," several different religions (which are practiced world wide) fall under the blanket term "paganism." Furthermore, paganism is broken into segments, such as Celtic paganism (Druidism, often Wicca, and branches of Neo-Paganism), Heathen pagansim (following the Germanic and Norse roots) and Kemetic paganism (which follows the practices of the ancient Egyptians and the worship of their pantheons).

The modern practice of pagan Easter (Ostara) is primarily a Wiccan practice, though it has its place in modern heathen practices as well. Many pagan groups are Earth worshippers and for this reason they honor the Earth through rituals at this time of year in order to offer supplication (and sacrifices) for fertility in the upcoming year. This is where the eggs and bunnies come from at Easter.

Eggs and baskets are a huge part of the Spring rituals often practiced by Pagans.
Eggs and baskets are a huge part of the Spring rituals often practiced by Pagans. | Source

Which do you believe came first?

See results

So Which Came First? The Christian Easter or the Pagan Ostara?

The truth is that nobody is completely sure about this. There's been some speculation, and most believe that the Pagan Ishtar (pronounced like "Easter") and her traditions come from earlier than the Christian practices surrounding the remembrance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Most of what we know about Easter comes from the Venerable Bede, and this information is somewhat contradictory and unclear.

The Spring celebrations that we associate with Easter most likely pre-date Christianity. Are these celebrations the equivalent of celebrating Easter alongside the neo-pagan religious folks? Or are they something different? This is a question that many people who discuss or write about this topic have to as themselves, and the answers will differ from one person to the next.

What is clear is that Easter is a holiday which is shared by people of different faiths and which has a secular component to it.

Depending on the belief system of an individual, Easter is either celebrated as a religious holiday, celebrated as a secular holiday, or not celebrated at all. In some cases, people will celebrate as both a secular and a religious holiday.

Easter celebrations and traditions are steeped in pagan symbolism.
Easter celebrations and traditions are steeped in pagan symbolism. | Source

Easter Symbolism

Resurrection of Christ
New Life in Christ
Parties and Decorations
Salvation through Jesus
Easter Egg hunts are common in the springtime.
Easter Egg hunts are common in the springtime. | Source

People Celebrate Easter Because It's Fun

The true reason that most people celebrate Easter is relatively simple: It's a lot of fun. Those pagan traditions that have carried into the modern world have come with us because of the fact that these celebrations and traditions are fun. Who doesn't love a good Easter Egg hunt, coloring and decorating eggs and eating chocolate? People celebrate Easter because they don't want to miss out on any of this fun.

Besides, most of these symbols, the rabbit, the eggs, the lambs and the flowers, are rooted in practices that pre-date Christianity by hundreds (if not thousands) of years. You don't have to be Christian to enjoy the secular Spring celebration (though there are some Christians who believe that believers should forgo these celebrations because Christians are meant to avoid pagan traditions and practices).

This Article is Copyrighted to Becki Rizzuti

As you will see on the bottom of this page, this article is copyrighted to Becki Rizzuti. All rights are reserved. If you see this article published on another site, please note that this is the original. No, you may not take my work in full or in part, even if you provide a link back to this page. The original date of publication of this hub is February 27th, 2014.

Why Would Someone Not Celebrate Easter?

One final note to this article: Some Christians choose not to celebrate Easter because of its pagan roots and the pagan symbolism of Easter. The fact is, however, that non-Christians have no reason not to celebrate a secular Easter holiday. It's fun, and children enjoy the magic of this holiday. If you don't have any reason not to participate in Easter, then go on ahead and bite into that chocolate bunny!

© 2014 Becki Rizzuti


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Stanley Kibet profile image

      Stanley Kibet 

      2 years ago

      Easter holiday is a Christian day to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is a day set aside for celebration all over the country.

      This is a day which comes after every 12months. It is celebrated on every April of each year. All Christians gather in different parts and celebrate in their own style.

      Different denominations celebrate differently. Catholic for example has a unique way of celebrating this occasion. They wake up the very day and gather at a specific place together. They carry a huge cross in resemblance of the cross of Jesus Christ.

    • Anate profile image

      Joseph Ray 

      5 years ago

      Ostara/Eostre are not the same goddess as Ishtar. Ostara/Eostre is a Germanic (Indo-European people group) goddess of the dawn like the Roman Aurora and Greek Eos. Ishtar is the Babylonian goddess of love, war, and sex. Ostara/Eostre like Aurora are actually often representative of resurrection because they represent the return of light to the world.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Laying in bed this morning wondering about the relevance of the egg and rabbit and there you were to tell me thanks a lot very informative

    • beckisgiftguides profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      6 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      Thank you both! I think I've seen the birthday cake peeps, Cheryl, but I haven't been able to check them out yet. I love Peeps. They are such a guilty pleasure haha.

    • Author Cheryl profile image

      Cheryl A Whitsett 

      6 years ago from Jacksonville, Fl

      Very good read. Voted up. Just so you know there are birthday cake peeps this year that I plan on indulging in. Thanks for making me think of them. lol

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      6 years ago from Texas

      Becki, I did read that, this is very interesting and voted that way.

      I agree with bethperry.

    • beckisgiftguides profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      6 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      Thank you, Beth! That makes me feel so much better (:

    • bethperry profile image

      Beth Perry 

      6 years ago from Tennesee

      No, it isn't flat at all! Very refreshing style you have.

    • beckisgiftguides profile imageAUTHOR

      Becki Rizzuti 

      6 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      I'm glad you could appreciate it, Beth! I was worried it was going to come out a bit flat since I write on this topic so often that I feel like I'm beating a dead horse lol

    • bethperry profile image

      Beth Perry 

      6 years ago from Tennesee

      What a lovely and informative article! Thanks for posting!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)