Easter is one of the most celebrated holidays in the Christian world, but did you know that its origins can be traced back to pagan times? In this blog post, we will explore the pagan roots of Easter and how modern-day pagans can celebrate this holiday.
Pagan Origins of Easter
The name Easter is believed to have come from the Old English word Ēastre, which was the name of a pagan goddess of spring and fertility. Ēastre was often associated with hares and eggs, which are now common symbols of Easter. The tradition of decorating eggs for Easter can be traced back to pagan times, where eggs were a symbol of fertility and new life.
The date of Easter is also closely tied to pagan celebrations. In the northern hemisphere, Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox, which is around March 20th. This date was chosen by the early Christian church to coincide with the pagan festival of Ostara, which celebrated the arrival of spring and new beginnings.
Another pagan tradition that influenced Easter is the ancient Sumerian goddess Inanna, who was also associated with fertility and rebirth. Inanna was believed to have descended into the underworld and risen again, which is similar to the Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Pagan Easter Celebrations
For modern-day pagans, Easter is a time to celebrate the arrival of spring and new beginnings. Here are some ways that pagans can celebrate Easter:
One way to celebrate Easter as a pagan is to hold an Ostara ritual. This can be done alone or with a group of fellow pagans. The ritual can include lighting candles, making offerings to the goddess Ēastre, and planting seeds to represent new beginnings.
Another pagan tradition that can be incorporated into Easter celebrations is egg decorating. Pagans can use natural dyes made from plants such as beetroot or spinach to decorate eggs, or they can use symbols and colors that represent their beliefs.
Spring cleaning is another way to celebrate Easter as a pagan. This can involve cleaning and decluttering the home to create a fresh start for the new season. Pagans can also use this time to cleanse their mind and body through meditation or other spiritual practices.
Easter is a great time to get outside and connect with nature. Pagans can take a nature walk and observe the signs of spring, such as blooming flowers and chirping birds. This can be a time to reflect on the cycles of life and the power of new beginnings.
Food is an important part of many pagan celebrations, and Easter is no exception. Pagans can prepare a feast of spring vegetables, fruits, and other foods that represent new life. This can be a time to share food and drink with friends and family and give thanks for the abundance of the earth.
Easter may have Christian roots, but it is also a holiday that has deep pagan origins. For pagans, Easter is a time to celebrate the arrival of spring and new beginnings. Whether it's through rituals, egg decorating, or nature walks, there are many ways to honor the pagan traditions of Easter. By embracing these ancient practices, pagans can connect with the cycles of nature and find renewed hope and inspiration for the year ahead.