Eostre Equinox Easter Eggs Passover

EostreEostre

The name Easter derived from the Saxon Eostre (a.k.a. Eastre). The ancient Saxons in Northern Europe worshiped the Goddess Oestre at the time of the Spring Equinox. The Goddess Easter represents the sunrise, spring-time and fertility, the renewal of life.

Based on the similarity of their names, some connect Eostre with Ishtar, the Babylonian and Assyrian goddess of love and fertility.
 
Vernal Equinox
 
Translated literally, equinox means “equal night.” Because the Sun is positioned above the equator, day and night are about equal in length all over the world during the equinoxes.
Far from being an arbitrary indicator of the changing seasons, March 20 (March 21 in some years) is significant for astronomical reasons.
 
On March 20, 2012, at precisely 1:14 A.M. EDT (March 20, 05:14 UCT), the Sun will cross directly over the Earth’s equator. This moment is known as the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. For the Southern Hemisphere, this is the moment of the autumnal equinox.A second equinox occurs each year on Sept. 22 or 23; in 2012, it will be on Sept. 22 at 10:49 A.M. EDT. This date will mark the autumnal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and the vernal equinox in the Southern (vernal denotes “spring”).
 
These brief but monumental moments owe their significance to the 23.4 degree tilt of the Earth’s axis. Because of the tilt, we receive the Sun’s rays most directly in the summer. In the winter, when we are tilted away from the Sun, the rays pass through the atmosphere at a greater slant, bringing lower temperatures.
 
If the Earth rotated on an axis perpendicular to the plane of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun, there would be no variation in day lengths or temperatures throughout the year, and we would not have seasons.
 
Early Egyptians built the Great Sphinx so that it points directly toward the rising Sun on the day of the vernal equinox.
 
Easter
People have recognized the vernal equinox for thousands of years. There is no shortage of rituals and traditions surrounding the coming of spring. Many early peoples celebrated for the basic reason that their food supplies would soon be restored.
 
The first day of spring also marks the beginning of Nowruz, the Persian New Year. The celebration lasts 13 days and is rooted in the 3,000-year-old tradition of Zorastrianism.
 
Eggs
 
Pagan Anglo-Saxons made offerings of colored eggs to her at the Vernal Equinox. In Medieval Europe, eggs were forbidden during Lent. Eggs laid during that time were often boiled or otherwise preserved. Eggs were thus a mainstay of Easter meals, and a prized Easter gift for children and servants.

Many traditions and practices have formed around Easter eggs. The coloring of eggs is a established art, and eggs are often dyed, painted, and otherwise decorated. Eggs were also used in various holiday games: parents would hide eggs for children to find, and children would roll eggs down hills. These practices live on in Easter egg hunts and egg rolls. The most famous egg roll takes place on the White House lawn every year.

In addition, eggs have been viewed as symbols of new life and fertility through the ages. It is believed that for this reason many ancient cultures, including the ancient Egyptians and Persians, used eggs during their spring festivals.

The pagans also placed them at graves especially, probably as a charm of rebirth. Egyptians and Greeks were also known to place eggs at gravesites.

Bunny

Hares and rabbits have long been symbols of fertility. The inclusion of the hare into Easter customs appears to have originated in Germany, where tales were told of an “Easter hare” who laid eggs for children to find. German immigrants to America brought the tradition with them and spread it to a wider public. They also baked cakes for Easter in the shape of hares, and may have pioneered the practice of making chocolate bunnies and eggs.

Passover

Christians celebrate the annual festival commemorating the alleged resurrection of Jesus between March 22 and April 25. For centuries, Christian “scholars” have debated the date of Jesus’ crucifixion. There occurs not a fragment of evidence about a Jesus crucified on Mt. Calvary or anywhere else.

According to the Bible, Jesus’ death and resurrection occurred around the time of the Jewish Passover, which was celebrated on the first full moon following the vernal equinox. The Jewish celebrate “Passover” at around this time, from an Exodus story where God passes over the “chosen ones” on his way to kill the firstborns of Egypt (Exodus 11, 12).

In 325 CE the Council of Nicaea established that Easter would be held on the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox. From that point forward, the Easter date depended on the ecclesiastical approximation of March 21 for the vernal equinox.

Parades

Spring equinox is also significant in Christianity because Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the equinox.

After their baptisms, early Christians wore white robes all through Easter week to indicate their new lives. Those had already been baptized wore new clothes instead to symbolize their sharing a new life with Christ.

In Medieval Europe, churchgoers would take a walk after Easter Mass, led by a crucifix or the Easter candle. Today these walks endure as Easter Parades. People show off their spring finery, including lovely bonnets decorated for spring. 

Sources:
www.nobeliefs.com
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One thought on “Eostre Equinox Easter Eggs Passover

  1. Thinking of Ishtar | symbolreader March 31, 2013 at 4:24 pm Reply

    […] link to a great post by a fellow blogger that I stumbled upon just […]

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