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Does the following sound familiar?—Spring is in the air! Flowers and bunnies decorate the home. Father helps the children paint beautiful designs on eggs dyed in various colors. These eggs, which will later be hidden and searched for, are placed into lovely, seasonal baskets. The wonderful aroma of the hot cross buns mother is baking in the oven waft through the house. Forty days of abstaining from special foods will finally end the next day. The whole family picks out their Sunday best to wear to the next morning’s sunrise worship service to celebrate the savior’s resurrection and the renewal of life. Everyone looks forward to a succulent ham with all the trimmings. It will be a thrilling day. After all, it is one of the most important religious holidays of the year.
Easter, right? No! This is a description of an ancient Babylonian family—2,000 years before Christ—honoring the resurrection of their god, Tammuz, who was brought back from the underworld by his mother/wife, Ishtar (after whom the festival was named). As Ishtar was actually pronounced “Easter” in most Semitic dialects, it could be said that the event portrayed here is, in a sense, Easter. Of course, the occasion could easily have been a Phrygian family honoring Attis and Cybele, or perhaps a Phoenician family worshipping Adonis and Astarte. Also fitting the description well would be a heretic Israelite family honoring the Canaanite Baal and Ashtoreth. Or this depiction could just as easily represent any number of other immoral, pagan fertility celebrations of death and resurrection—including the modern Easter celebration as it has come to us through the Anglo-Saxon fertility rites of the goddess Eostre or Ostara. These are all the same festivals, separated only by time and culture.
If Easter is not found in the Bible, then where did it come from? The vast majority of ecclesiastical and secular historians agree that the name of Easter and the traditions surrounding it are deeply rooted in pagan religion.[/b]
Okay - so the REASON for me posting this
Basically I grew up doing the easter egg hunts and dying eggs and all that fun stuff. Easter celebrations (as in, family getting together to eat a big meal, dying eggs, and the kiddies doing a hunt) were a big part of my DH's youth as well.
I enjoyed that stuff. It was a lot of fun.
I never went to an easter morning service at church, and it wasn't a part of DH's traditions either.
I intend to teach Kaya about the old origins of easter, and want her to enjoy the fun of the egg dying and hunting etc... But I still get that uncomfortable itch when I think about the christian attachment to the holiday. WHICH IS STUPID because the darn holiday pre-dates christianity! I'm just eating at myself for no real reason. BAH. lol....
Anyone else still plan to do easter stuff for the kiddies without the Christianity overtones?
Yeah, I knew that about Easter. A very similar thing happened with Christmas. That's why I'll be celebrating both holidays with my children, but without the birth/rising of Jesus stuff.
Anyone else still plan to do easter stuff for the kiddies without the Christianity overtones?[/b]
Sure, I think Easter is a wonderful time to celebrate spring... the trees budding, the crocuses and tulips blooming, the days getting longer and warmer, everything coming to life again (no pun intended). Any secular celebration of life and the cycle of nature is welcome in my home. Egg dying and egg hunts are fun activities and do not have religious overtones IMO.
ETA: I'm a bit confused as to why the article had to describe the pagan celebrations of fertility as "immoral."
ETA: I'm a bit confused as to why the article had to describe the pagan celebrations of fertility as "immoral."[/b]
I think it was just a poke at how the Church tends to push the view that pagan traditions are all immoral orgies and animal sacrifices.
The ancient celebrations of Ishtar were made out to be immoral by the church, and yet almost all of the traditions we associate with Easter are the exact same as those celebrated each year for Ishtar... which is actually pronounced almost exactly like Easter
I mean, if you'd get these really religious people and tell them that the only reason that Sunday is considered sacred is because it was the "Sun Day" and people worshiped a Sun god, they'd think you were being ludicrous and blasphemous, because people who worshiped sun gods were immoral pagans.
But when you get down to it, the Bible never even mentions Sunday as being the day of rest. If you do a lot of digging, it actually comes out to be Saturday, but even that is only loosely mentioned once.
And the reason that they have a Sunday Morning Service for Easter is because it was originally a celebration of the day Ishtar resurrected the sun god, so they gathered at sunrise on SUN day.
It really amazes me that more christians don't stop and ask themselves "What the heck do bunnies and eggs have to do with the birth of Jesus? And for that matter, why do we call it Easter? The word easter is never even MENTIONED in the bible."
I think there's a version of the new testiment that says Easter, but if you go back to the hebrew texts, it actually says PASSOVER, but it was translated as Easter by the church to validate the holiday.
It really amazes me that more christians don't stop and ask themselves "What the heck do bunnies and eggs have to do with the birth of Jesus? And for that matter, why do we call it Easter? The word easter is never even MENTIONED in the bible."[/b]
I know! Certain things are just never questioned or if they are, the answers are glazed over in favor of insisting that what they learn in church just has to be right.
Yeah, but it's origins aren't even in Christianity. The holiday originates from an ancient Babylonian and ancient Sumerian celebration of the goddess Ishtar (get it - eeshtar? Easter - hah...) who was a fertility goddess that people gave gifts of eggs and rabbits. The holiday was to celebrate the day she resurrected her lover, the sun god Tammuz (The resurrection of the son... er, Sun - hah..)
I just think it's funny how blatantly obvious it is where Easter and it's traditions came from, if you just know a little history, and yet NO ONE seems to know it. Crazyness...
I mean, the ancient Sumerian's and Babylonians even believe that Tammuz / Sun God 'died' near the end of December (Winter Soltice) which just happens to fall around December 25th.
People can get conquered by new countries, new emperors can convert or bring in new beliefs, but no matter how many times you tell people to start believing in something else, people just don't like to give up their holiday traditions