Easter, Passover, and Other Spring Festivals by Ann Morrill
Easter Passover and Other Spring Festivals Holidays and Celebrations
The pagan roots of Easter
They believe that Jesus, who they believe was the son of God, died for everyone's wrong-doings and then came back to life three days later to defeat death and evil: so if you believe in Him you will live forever in Heaven. The word Easter mostly likely comes from the Anglo Saxon month 'Eostremonath' which was about the time of year we now call April, when the Christian festival was held. The month seems to be named after a German goddess 'Eostre' or 'Ostara'. But the only reference to this name is from the early historian Bede in AD. But having the festival named after the month it took place in seems to make sense.
E aster is a pagan festival. If Easter isn't really about Jesus, then what is it about? Today, we see a secular culture celebrating the spring equinox , whilst religious culture celebrates the resurrection. However, early Christianity made a pragmatic acceptance of ancient pagan practises, most of which we enjoy today at Easter. The general symbolic story of the death of the son sun on a cross the constellation of the Southern Cross and his rebirth, overcoming the powers of darkness, was a well worn story in the ancient world.
Unlike the yoking of Christmas and Hanukkah , Easter and Passover are festivals of equal gravity. Side by side they bring to light the deep structures of both religions. Looking for Passover-Easter resources for interfaith families? Click here! First, their inviolable matrix is spring.
All rights reserved. The snow is melting, flowers are blooming, and the days are getting warmer. It must be spring! Take a look at some of the big celebrations that happen during this season. The springtime celebration of Easter is a Christian tradition marking the day Jesus Christ is said to have come back to life.
Skip to content. This April 1, Christians will be celebrating Easter, the day on which the resurrection of Jesus is said to have taken place. The date of celebration changes from year to year. The reason for this variation is that Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the spring equinox. I am a religious studies scholar specializing in early Christianity, and my research shows that this dating of Easter goes back to the complicated origins of this holiday and how it has evolved over the centuries. Easter is quite similar to other major holidays like Christmas and Halloween, which have evolved over the last years or so.
Last year a friend who is a Greek Orthodox priest told me he was overwhelmed by his preparations for Pascha. I was perplexed. Pesach is the spring festival that celebrates the exodus of our ancestors from Egypt. Jews observe it by fulfilling the biblical injunction to abstain from leavened wheat products and other leavened food and instead eat unleavened bread and matzo products for seven days. More than a little energy is devoted to purging the house of all leavening and bringing the certifiably uncontaminated Pesach tableware out of storage. Those who invite family and friends to observe the Seder—the ritual meal shared on the first two nights of the holiday—also devote a great deal of effort to preparation for those events.