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Easter Hatology



It is Easter a holiday, a Christian holiday celebrated on the day of a pagan rite celebrating spring. We are told it is named after Eostre, the goddess of spring. Our source for that is the Venerable Bede who wrote in his book On the The Reckoning of Time “Eosturmonath has a name which is now translated “Paschal month”, and which was once called after a goddess of theirs named Eostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated in that month. Now they designate that Paschal season by her name, calling the joys of the new rite by the time-honoured name of the old observance.”




You know, he could have been joking. He did a lot of fabricating in his book. I guess, lacking Google, he filled in with imagination what he didn’t have well-sourced. The only thing that is known that several cognates in other languages mean dawn, so it’s possible it could be the dawn of spring. This really is the only early evidence of Eostre. There’s Grimm of course, but he’s closer to our time and is even more certainly inventing as he goes along.

Still, the commercial traditions of easter eggs and bunnies and peeps are harmless fun that make a holiday special for kids who are not quite ready to understand the metaphysical aspect of the day. They also give the holiday secular components that make it part of the unofficial civic religion that people of all and no faiths participate in as part of being here in this society. That is how Easter works for me. So, of course I am wearing an Easter bonnet, courtesy of Gidge who sent it to me. Thanks, Gidge!
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