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Is Easter a pagan holiday?

Full Question

A publication I read claims Easter has its roots in a pagan holiday and rituals and as such ought not to be observed by Christians. Colored eggs were used in rituals associated with a pagan god. If this is true, shouldn’t we stop calling the day we celebrate Christ’s Resurrection Easter and stop hunting eggs on that day?

Answer

No, because whatever it meant for ancient pagans, for Christians Easter is the celebration of Christ’s Resurrection. The fact that when it was first celebrated the feast of the Resurrection coincided with pagan celebrations doesn’t mean it was derived from them. The Jewish Passover (on which Christ was crucified) also coincided with such celebrations, yet this didn’t mean it was pagan.

As for Easter eggs, there’s nothing wrong with painting or hunting them on Easter–provided the real meaning of the day isn’t lost. As with the days of the week (the names of which are of pagan origin), any peculiarly pagan significance attached to Easter eggs was forgotten centuries ago.










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5 comments

  1. mike Reply

    Do we believe in in the Lords Supper,do we practice the passover?Do we say happy passover?Do we believe in in the death and resurrection of God being born earthly as a man?Do we celebrate Easter?We have a lot more to ask the origins of our belief and faith and to draw parallelism of both the Christianity and paganism. We have to understand,do more of homework,provide realistic solid facts and research in the root form of both paganism and Christianity and their links if we are polemic. The birth of Christianity and the foundation of the Catholic faith came into existence with already a particular culture in place.The tradition and culture was then influenced by the pre-existing one which is natural.Today’s understanding is that there are echoes, connections,the links and similarities among religions because Christianity and especially my Catholic Church faith fulfills them all and transforms them from within.It doesn’t mean ie Easter is derived from paganistic rituals or holidays, but , BUT the old was concealed in the new,and the new is revealed in the old through Christ .We cant just say Holy Thursday,Good Friday or Easter holiday was derived and it is of pagan origin(Easter Triduum) .If we are to say that then Jewish passover has and is a parallel theology with paganism rituals thus contradicting its present meaning.That would be a cardinal sin
    grin emoticon
    .You can’t blame me for being pagan in some beliefs and practices while happily endorsing yours that might just as readily have their origins in paganism.If you are,then you are a pagan too.

    Easter holiday is ultimately about the Christ resurrection culminating from the passover to the garden of Gethsemane making its way to the cross at Calvary. We do commemorate and celebrate it in memory of him and having celebrations with thanksgiving prayers with mass services.Bunnies and Easter eggs are accessories today,not a luggage.Springtime is April in Calender as is like names of the day Monday to Sunday..I might happily go on to say ” Sei,Ru-u per Tul” for the days of the week-Monday to Wednesday or one,two three in my mother tongue while preserving without distorting the facts.The true meaning of Easter hasn’t changed with those peculiarity or isn’t lost.

    It’s an open world today,whatever is it that that someone read that Easter holiday is of ancient pagan belief which you thought was deeply rooted with forms as of paganism ideology was forgotten centuries ago.It is an ancient way of thinking.Times have change.
    Christ has come to remove the riddle of paganism, and to reveal all and himself to us.Remove the riddle in our eyes and we will see that is about the Lamb of God,the bread of life who takes away the sins of the world,that’s the revelation,not paganism.

  2. gabrielj53 Reply

    What a horrible response to a very valid question. Easter strums up a multitude of Pagan practices and just because Christians say “we are celebrating the resurrection so God is ok with it” does not mean God is ok with it. Over and over throughout the Bible the children of God are told not to take on the pagan practices of the cultures surrounding them.

    Leviticus 18:2-5: “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, I am the Lord your God. You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. You shall not walk in their statutes. You shall follow my rules and keep my statutes and walk in them. I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore keep my statutes and my rules; if a person does them, he shall live by them: I am the Lord.”

    Jeremiah 10:2-9: “Thus says the Lord: “Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them, for the customs of the peoples are vanity. A tree from the forest is cut down and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman. They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so that it cannot move. Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field, and they cannot speak; they have to be carried, for they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, neither is it in them to do good."

    Colossians 2:8: See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

    These are just a few examples of tons of scriptures you would have to ignore in order to practice the pagan traditions which settle around supposed Christian holidays. It doesn’t take a genius to see that Easter, and Christmas for that matter, are enormously pagan with a “Christ” sticker slapped on the package. The etymology of the word Easter comes from the ancient fertility goddess Ishtar or Eostre of the Babylonian era. Why do you suppose bunny rabbits are used? Because they represent fertility. Why are chicken eggs used? Because they represent fertility. So while most Christians this weekend celebrated the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ by going to a 1-2 hour mass or service they spent several more hours practicing pagan traditions, eating ham and greeting one another in the name of the fertility goddess Ishtar or Easter.

    If you want to go back even further to Canaan you will find that Ishtar originates from Ashteroth, which we read about all throughout the Old Testament, she was also frequently connected with Molech. (2 Kings 23:4-16, 2 Chronicles 14:3, 2 Chronicles 17:6 also throughout Judges and Kings) God hated these Pagan gods from Canaan and consistently punished Israel when they turned back to the pagan traditions. Why, if Christians are continuing on these same traditions talked about all throughout the Bible to stay away from, do you think God would not still be angry, that he does not still detest the practices or even references to the old pagan gods of Canaan, especially now that his Sons triumphant birth, death and resurrection are clouded with paganism? You don’t think he is wrathful or jealous for his Son and for his son to be represented in nothing more than pure righteousness and holiness untainted by any of these atrocities?

    Study the scriptures honestly and care more about God than you do about yourself and you will find that the Bible reads very differently that the culture around you teaches and from what you were brought up to believe!

    1. mike Reply

      Catholic Church holds the key to bind and to loose,remember that,Whatever is loosen on earth will be loosen in heaven,whatever is binded on earth will be binded in heaven..Read Mathew where Christ speak to Saint Peter.. :)…It is not about cherry picking bible versus :),have we not forgotten that? hmmmmmm 🙂

    2. mike Reply

      DOES EASTER IS OF PAGAN ORIGIN?
      [ “many Publications claims Easter has its roots in a pagan holiday and rituals and as such ought not to be observed by Christians.]
      .
      RESPONSE:
      .
      NO, WHATEVER ACCUSATION CHARGE BY THE ANTI-CATHOLIC RELIGION IT HAS NOTHING TO LINK WITH PAGANISM, IT IS FAR FROM THEIR IMAGINATIVE ACCUSATION
      .
      ANYONE MAKING THIS CHARGE SHOWS A TOTAL LACK OF COMPREHENSION OF GLOBAL CHRISTIANITY. IN FACT, ONLY A PERSON SPEAKING ENGLISH OR GERMAN COULD EVEN POSSIBLY MAKE THIS CHARGE.
      .
      BECAUSE FOR CHRISTIANS EASTER IS THE CELEBRATION OF CHRIST’S RESURRECTION. THE FACT THAT WHEN IT WAS FIRST CELEBRATED THE FEAST OF THE RESURRECTION COINCIDED WITH PAGAN CELEBRATIONS AND DOESN’T MEAN IT WAS DERIVED FROM THEM. IT WAS JUST “COINCIDED”
      .
      WHILE THE JEWISH PASSOVER (on which Christ was crucified) ALSO COINCIDED WITH THIS CELEBRATIONS, YET THIS DIDN’T MEAN IT WAS PAGAN.
      .
      SO LOGICALLY, IF WE ACCEPT THE ARGUMENTS OF ANTI-CATHOLICS FALSE INFORMATION REGARDING THE EASTER SUNDAY IS OF PAGAN ORIGIN, THEN THE JEWISH PASSOVER WHICH COINCIDED WITH THIS CELEBRATIONS WOULD BECAME A PAGAN TOO? BECAUSE THE FACT THAT THE EASTER SUNDAY DATE ALIGNED TO THE JEWISH DATE OF PASSOVER
      .
      .
      .
      OBJECTION
      [ the Easter is pagan because it falls near the vernal equinox ]
      .
      RESPONSE:
      .
      LET US MAKE LITTLE DEEPER IN DEAL WITH THE DATE. EASTER IS THE FIRST SUNDAY AFTER THE FIRST FULL MOON FOLLOWING MARCH 21 (historically, the Spring equinox). THE REASON, HOWEVER, HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH PAGANISM. INSTEAD, IT HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH JUDAISM AND WITH CHRIST’S RESURRECTION, AND NOT PAGANISM.
      .
      CHRIST WAS RESURRECTED ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, WHICH IS “SUNDAY” IN (MATTHEW 28:1)
      .
      THUS SINCE THE FIRST COUNCIL OF NICAEA IN A.D. 325 ALL CHRISTIANS HAVE CELEBRATED HIS RESURRECTION ON SUNDAY.
      .
      AT FIRST NICAEA ALL CHRISTIANS AGREED TO CELEBRATE THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST ON FIRST SUNDAY AFTER 14 NISAN BECAUSE THAT WAS THE DAY CHRIST WAS RESURRECTED IN THE FIRST CENTURY (THE SUNDAY AFTER PASSOVER.)
      .
      BECAUSE FIRST CENTURY JEWS USED A LUNAR CALENDAR, EVERY MONTH WAS 28 DAYS LONG, BEGINNING WITH THE NEW MOON AND HAVING THE FULL MOON ON THE 14TH OF THE MONTH.
      .
      NISAN, BEING THE MONTH IN WHICH THE SPRING EQUINOX OCCURRED, ALWAYS HAD JEWISH PASSOVER ACCORDING TO THEIR TRADITIONS IN WHICH THE 14th OF NISAN ALWAYS FALLING ON THE FIRST FULL MOON ON OR AFTER THE SPRING EQUINOX.
      .
      THUS SINCE PASSOVER WAS ALWAYS ON OR AFTER THE FIRST FULL MOON AFTER THE SPRING EQUINOX, AND SINCE THE RESURRECTION WAS THE FIRST SUNDAY AFTER PASSOVER, EASTER IS ALWAYS THE FIRST SUNDAY AFTER THE FIRST FULL MOON AFTER MARCH 21 (historically, the Spring equinox).
      .
      THERE IS NOTHING ABOUT A PAGAN LUNAR CELEBRATION IN HERE. ONCE AGAIN, IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH PAGANISM, BUT EVERYTHING TO DO WITH THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST IN ITS JEWISH PASSOVER CONTEXT. AND NOT A PAGAN CONTEXT.
      .
      .
      .
      OBJECTION:
      [ Easter is a pagan rather than a Christian holiday, as shown by its very name ]
      .
      RESPONSE:
      .
      MANY NON-CATHOLICS, MOST OF THEM HAVE AN ANTI-CATHOLIC IDEOLOGY BELIEVES THAT THE WORD “Easter" COMES FROM “Eostra” or “Ostara”, WHICH AN ANGLO-SAXON GODDESS OF SPRING.
      .
      THUS THESE ANTI-CAHOLIC RELIGION, MOSTLY EVANGELICALS AND RESTORATIONIST PROTESTANTS TRYING TO PROVE THAT THE EASTER SUNDAY IS A REMNANT OF SOME PAGAN SPRING FESTIVAL IN HONOR OF “EOSTRA”.
      .
      NOW LET US DEAL WITH THE NAME OF EASTER.
      .
      REMEMBER THAT THE HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH DOES NOT FORMALLY CALL THE FEAST “Easter" BUT RATHER “Pascha" WHICH A WORD DERIVED FROM THE ARAMAIC WORD FOR “Passover". ONLY ENGLISH AND GERMANIC LANDS USE THE TERM RELATED TO “Easter".
      .
      THUS, MANY OLD ENGLISH AND GERMAN TRANSLATORS OF THE BIBLE USED INTERCHANGEABLY THE WORDS EASTER (Oster/Ester) AND “Pascha" BOTH REFERRING TO THE TIME OF THE PASSOVER FEAST, AND HAD NO ASSOCIATION TO ANY PAGAN GODDESS.
      .
      THE TERM “Easter” ALSO APPEARS IN THE BIBLE ONLY IN THE KING JAMES VERSION IN (Acts 12:4) AS A TRANSLATION FOR THE JEWISH HOLIDAY OF PASSOVER. BIBLE SAYS:
      .
      Acts 12:4 (King James Version) “And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after EASTER to bring him forth to the people.”
      .
      IN THIS PASSAGE, THE WORD “Easter" WAS USED BY THE TRANSLATORS OF THE KING JAMES VERSION AND NOT “Pascha". WHEN MARTIN LUTHER, A PROTESTANT REFORMER AND FORMER CATHOLIC FRIAR, TRANSLATED THE BIBLE INTO GERMAN (New Testament in 1522), HE CHOSE THE WORD “Oster” TO REFER TO THE PASSOVER REFERENCES BEFORE AND AFTER THE RESURRECTION. IN ONE OF HIS WORKS, HE WROTE:
      .
      “Da er ihn nun griff, legte er ihn ins Gefängnis und überantwortete ihn vier Rotten, je von vier Kriegsknechten, ihn zu bewahren, und gedachte, ihn nach Oster dem Volk vorzustellen” (Acts 12:4).
      .
      .
      .
      QUESTION
      + [ does having Easter eggs is of pagan origin? ]
      .
      OBJECTION FROM ANTI-CATHOLICS, [ Colored eggs were used in rituals associated with a pagan god. ]
      .
      ANSWER:
      AS FOR EASTER EGGS, THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH PAINTING OR HUNTING THEM ON EASTER, PROVIDED THE REAL MEANING OF THE DAY ISN’T LOST. AS WITH THE DAYS OF THE WEEK (the names of which are of pagan origin), ANY PECULIARLY PAGAN SIGNIFICANCE ATTACHED TO EASTER EGGS WAS FORGOTTEN CENTURIES AGO.
      .
      THE CUSTOM OF THE EASTER EGG MAY HAVE EXISTED IN THE EARLY CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY OF MESOPOTAMIA, WHO STAINED EGGS RED IN MEMORY OF THE BLOOD OF CHRIST, SHED AT HIS CRUCIFIXION. IN LATER TRADITIONS THE EGG IS ALSO A SYMBOL OF THE EMPTY TOMB.
      .
      .
      .
      QUESTION:
      + [ why Easter is celebrates in the first day of the week, “SUNDAY” ? ]
      .
      ANSWER:
      .
      THE BIBLE MAKES IT CLEAR THAT JESUS WAS RESURRECTED ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, SUNDAY:
      .
      Matthew 28:1 (Good News Bible) “After the Sabbath, as Sunday morning was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.”
      .
      Mark 16:2 (Good News Bible) “Very early on Sunday morning, at sunrise, they went to the tomb.”
      .
      John 20:1 (Good News Bible) “Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been taken away from the entrance. ”
      .
      Joh 20:19 (Good News Bible) “It was late that Sunday evening, and the disciples were gathered together behind locked doors, because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities. Then Jesus came and stood among them. “Peace be with you,” he said.”
      .
      ABOVE ALL VERSES, JESUS’ RESURRECTION IS MOST WORTHY OF BEING CELEBRATED IN SUNDAY FOR HE DIED FOR US ALL, AS BIBLE SAYS:
      .
      1 Corinthians 15:3-5 (Good News Bible)
      [3] “I passed on to you what I received, which is of the greatest importance: that Christ died for our sins, as written in the Scriptures;
      [4] that he was buried and that he was raised to life three days later, as written in the Scriptures;
      [5] that he appeared to Peter and then to all twelve apostles.
      .
      THAT IS WHY, IS APPROPRIATE FOR JESUS’ RESURRECTION TO BE CELEBRATED ON A SUNDAY, THE DAY ON WHICH JESUS’ RESURRECTED.
      .
      .
      .
      QUESTION:
      + [ does the Easter sunday is biblical ?? ]
      .
      ANSWER: YES, PLEASE READ THE PREVIOUS ANSWER FROM ABOVE QUESTION, “WHY EASTER IS CELEBRATES IN THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, “SUNDAY”
      .
      .
      .
      QUESTION:
      + [ why do we always celebrates this custom ? ]
      ANSWER,
      .
      WE CELEBRATE THIS THAT REMINDED THAT EASTER (also known as Pasch) IS THE GREAT FEAST AND COMMEMORATION OF CHRIST’S RESURRECTION, THE FOUNDATION AND CENTERPIECE OF CHRISTIAN FAITH. ACCORDING TO ST. PAUL THE APOSTLE…
      .
      1 Corinthians 15:14 (Good News Bible) “and if Christ has not been raised from death, then we have nothing to preach and you have nothing to believe.”
      .
      THEREFORE, WITHOUT EASTER, THERE IS NO CHRISTIANITY. THUS WE SHOULD COMMEMORATES AND CELEBRATE IN HIS RESURRECTION DAY AS TRADITION. BIBLE SAYS:
      .
      2 Thessalonians 2:15 (New American Standard Bible) “So then, brethren, stand firm and HOLD TO THE TRADITIONS which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us."
      .
      1 Corinthians 11:2 (New American Standard Bible) “Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and HOLD FIRMLY TO THE TRADITIONS, just as I delivered them to you."
      .
      THAT IS WHY THERE IS NOTHING WRONG TO CELEBRATE IT ANNUALLY, AS A TRADITION, THAT WE SHOULD CONTINUE DOWN AS GENERATION PASSED.
      .
      .
      .
      QUESTION:
      + [ How is the date for Easter determined? Last year it was very early. ]
      .
      ANSWER:
      .
      EASTER FALLS ON THE FIRST SUNDAY FOLLOWING THE FIRST FULL MOON AFTER THE VERNAL EQUINOX. IF THE FIRST FULL MOON OCCURS ON THE EQUINOX, EASTER IS THE FOLLOWING SUNDAY. THUS, EASTER CAN FALL ANYWHERE BETWEEN MARCH 22 AND APRIL 25.
      .
      .
      .
      QUESTION:
      + aside the Catholics who celebrate the Easter, then who else the other church celebrate the Easter alongside with Catholic church?
      .
      ANSWER:
      .
      SOME OF THE MAJOR REFORMATION CHURCHES AND MOVEMENTS ALSO CELEBRATES THE EASTER, THEY ARE AS FOLLOWS,
      – Lutheran Church
      – Methodist Church
      – Anglican Church
      – Presbyterian Church
      WHILE OTHER NEWLY FOUNDED CHRISTIAN GROUPS, MOSTLY EVANGELICALS LIKE “BORN AGAIN” AND RESTORATIONIST LIKE “IGLESIA NI CRISTO” AND “JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES”, SEEING IT AS PAGAN ORIGIN AND NOT ACTUALLY WRITTEN IN THE CHRISTIAN BIBLE.

      For your summary

      Two words. Scripture and Tradition

    3. Margarett RBC Zavodny Reply

      There is nothing in Canon Law or the Catechism of the Catholic Church that forbids hunting Easter Eggs or having Easter bunnies, etc. The Catholic faith is not Sola Scriptura; we are to follow Tradition and the Magisterium in light of Scripture.

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