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Is Easter a pagan tradition?

Updated on March 13, 2013

Easter - origins

We have to go back and find out what history has to say about Easter. There was one historian, Socrates Scholasticus, who stated in his Book of History: “It seems to me that the feast of Easter has been introduced into the church from some old usage, just as many other customs have been established.”

The book Curiosities of Popular Customs explains that it was the policy of the “Church to give a Christian significance to such of the extant pagan ceremonies as could not be rooted out. In the case of Easter it was peculiarly easy. People embraced the celebrating quickly as Christian. Joy at the rising of the natural sun, and at the awakening of nature from the death of winter, became joy at the rising of the Sun of righteousness, at the resurrection of Christ from the grave. Some of the pagan observances which took place about the 1st of May were also shifted to fit in with the celebration of Easter.

(underlined by me)

Are you celebrating a pagan tradition?

Will you continue as before after learning the origin of easter?

See results

Easter today | Source

What do secular historians say?

Easter holiday is supposed to recognize and celebrate Christ’s resurrection but note what secular authorities say regarding it:

First this quote from The Westminster Dictionary of the Bible: "Originally the spring festival in honor of the Teutonic goddess of light and spring known in Anglo-Saxon as Eastre. As early as the 8th century the name was transferred by the Anglo-Saxons to the Christian festival designed to celebrate the resurrection of Christ!” by John D. Davis.

Then what Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore Mythology and Legend says: “Everywhere they hunt the many-colored Easter eggs, brought by the Easter rabbit. This is not mere child’s play, but the vestige of a fertility rite, the eggs and the rabbit both symbolizing fertility.”

In his book Celebrations, Robert J. Myers agrees, stating that “many of the pagan rebirth rites, celebrated at the vernal equinox, became part of the feast.” These statements are supported by The New Encyclopædia Britannica, which says: “As at Christmas, so also at Easter, popular customs reflect many ancient pagan survivals—in this instance, connected with spring fertility rites, such as the symbols of the Easter egg and the Easter hare or rabbit.”

Easter. “There is no indication of the observance of the Easter festival in the New Testament,” states The Encyclopædia Britannica. How did Easter get started? It is rooted in pagan worship. While this holiday is supposed to commemorate Jesus’ resurrection, the customs associated with the Easter season are not Christian. For instance, concerning the popular “Easter bunny,” The Catholic Encyclopedia says: “The rabbit is a pagan symbol and has always been an emblem of fertility.”

Pagan traditions

Pagan Traditions
Pagan Traditions

You wouln't dream of dabbling with idolotry would you? Surely the Easter bunny, the Christmas Tree, and the black cat of Halloween are innocent ways of enjoying the holidays aren't they? Not sure? Then let this book answer your questions and let it raise a few of its own.


The night before Christ died

He prayed to His Father all night
He prayed to His Father all night

The conclution MUST be

Easter or Pesach has nothing to do with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We actually offend him by bringing pagan rituals and details into the event.

If our worship will be acceptable to God we have to keep it clean from blasphemy and pagan rites.

The basic reason to celebrate the death of Jesus Christ

Did you know this about easter?

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    • profile image

      CJ Sledgehammer 

      6 years ago

      You are so right, Irenemaria, the Bible tells us that we can tell a tree by the fruit it bears and to test the spirits to see if they are from God. Unfortunately, not many of God's children do that and are either swept away or deceived.

      God's blessings to a fine lady - C.J. Sledgehammer

    • irenemaria profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Sweden

      Such a thoughtful and serious comment you gave! Christians are not christians just because they say so. I read a couple of days ago, that there are 43 000 (!) sects and groups that call themselves Christian. It is not the case if you look at the behaviour you can quickly sort out many of them. To be Christian means that a person follow Christ. Imitate him in everything in life. Sweden is a very democratic country. The Swedish church was Protestant and state religion but not any more. The laws are that every person has the right to choose religion and be respected.

      This so called follower I cannot say anything about. But referring to what I wrote above - he probably just had that tag Christian, but was not one. Just a guess.

    • profile image

      CJ Sledgehammer 

      6 years ago


      I think you are onto something here. I have long known that Christmas is almost completely pagan in origin, yet many well-meaning, albeit ignorant Christians still follow along like sheep to the slaughter.

      I have done extensive research on Christmas, but I have not studied the origins of easter. You have piqued my curiosity and I know I need to look even deeper into it, and I do not have much time because Easter is almost upon us.

      Thank you for giving us all a "heads up" and for sounding the alarm.

      By the way, your English is excellent and I'll admit that ABBA is my favorite music group of all time and I like a few songs by the talented Ace of Base. :0)

      Is Sweden hospitable or tolerant toward Christianity? I sure would like to visit Sweden one sure looks beautiful.

      Come to think of it, one of my "followers", MP50, who is from Sweden, just got banned from Hubpages. He is a Christian as well, but said some things to an atheist that he shouldn't have. I hope he is allowed to join again.

      I am even more interested in Sweden because my ex-wife's ancestry is Swedish. I would love to hear what you have to say about your country and its people especially regarding its attitude toward Christianity.

      Best wishes and be well - C.J. Sledgehammer

    • nextstopjupiter profile image


      7 years ago from here, there and everywhere

      Easter is celebrated on the first weekend after the first Spring full moon, so it is connected to a natural cycle, it is a celebration of fertility - eggs are symbols of fertility, and that is in my opinion a pagan tradition.

    • irenemaria profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Sweden

      Thank you Darling you Howard!

    • Howard S. profile image

      Howard S. 

      7 years ago from Dallas, Texas, and Asia

      I was thinking Pesach was maybe Scandinavian, but it's Hebrew! I really should have been able to figure that one out because I know that Easter is Paskah in Indonesian, which, with a spelling like that, had to have borrowed it from Arabic, a related Semitic language. And, of course, it's in my English dictionary (blush).

      To make that line clearer to people like me, may I suggest, "Easter, or Pesach, has nothing to do with..."

    • irenemaria profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Sweden

      Thanks a lot Howard! A Christian celebration should absolutely NOT contain pagan rites and inventions. For God this is blasphemy. Offending God deeply. I am sorry if I was unclear here.

      Pesach means "pass over". In the narrative of the Exodus, the Bible tells that God helped the Children of Israel escape slavery in Egypt by inflicting ten plagues upon the Egyptians before Pharaoh would release his Israelite slaves; the tenth and worst of the plagues was the slaughter of the first-born. The Israelites were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a spring lamb and, upon seeing this, the spirit of the Lord passed over these homes, hence the term "passover" (Wikipedia)

    • Howard S. profile image

      Howard S. 

      7 years ago from Dallas, Texas, and Asia

      You seem to argue in opposite directions without connecting them. On the one hand, you say that the Christian celebration of Easter has roots in pagan rituals--true enough. On the other hand, you say that bunnies and eggs have nothing to do with the events that Christians celebrate at Easter--also true.

      The connection that's weak is this: A Cristian celebration of Easter consists of various remembrances of Jesus' final week on earth and through His resurrection on the third day after His crucifixion. Bunnies and eggs are remnants of the pagan rituals predating the Christian version of Easter. Elements of the two remembrances should not be mixed. I suppose they will both always be known as "Easter."

      I try to take it easy on non-native writers of English--and yours is very good--unless the meaning is lost. What is the meaning of "pesach?" Is this English "as such," Latin "per se" or something entirely different?


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