Note: I'm not sure why my typing is all wonky below. I don't even know how to fix it.
It's Easter-time again. One of the most popular myths that have been spread by both self-styled witches and pagans as well as certain types of Christians, is that Easter, the most important holiday in the Christian religion, was named after a pagan goddess. This is an error that takes some additional knowledge to be able to see through to the actual truth of the matter. It all started with this:
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.
-Bede, De Temporum Ratione, Chapter 15.
This is the only written reference to any goddess named "Eostre". There is zero corroborating evidence to indicate that such a goddess ever existed or was worshiped. And the reason why there is no evidence is because there never was such a goddess. Instead, what has occurred was a popular folk practice of personifying a feast or holiday and giving her a female form. For instance, there is a figure called Frau Perchta, Berchta or Bertha in English. She is similar to Frau Holle or Frau Hulda. Today she is viewed as a bogeyman figure or a witch that punishes lazy boys and girls during the 12 days of Christmas. Self-styled witches and pagans claim she is a surviving Germanic goddess. They are wrong. Frau Perchta is in fact a personification of the Feast of Epiphany. The name Perchta or Berchta, comes from the word Berchtentag, which is another name for the Feast of the Epiphany. Perchta/Berchta also means "shining, bright". Keep attention of that last bit because I will make a connection.
Eostre is not a pagan goddess. She is the folk personification of Easter which Bede and possibly others confused with being a pagan goddess. Now for that connection I mentioned. Easter means "east, dawn, to shine". So we have two holidays that both mean "to shine" or which are connected to light and both have been personified into female figures. So clearly this was a trend of the time. These "to shine" names for the religious holidays possibly is a reference to them being holy or heavenly.
So what about the Easter Bunny, dying eggs, Easter egg hunts, wearing new clothes, Easter lilies, etc. Isn't all of that stuff pagan? NOPE!
The overwhelming majority, if not all, modern Easter traditions only date back to the 1800s to Germany and to the same people who gave us the Christmas Tree, which is also not pagan.
Well, what about Easter being so close to the Spring Equinox? Doesn't that mean that Christians stole that from the pagans? NOPE! The Easter story is firmly connected to Passover, not any pagan holiday. The date of Passover changes each year. So if Easter falls near the Spring Equinox then it's just a coincidence. The Spring Equinox will always be from March 20-23. Easter can fall well into late April. So there really is no attempt to try to steal a pagan Spring festival. Besides, the Spring Equinox was never a real big thing for ancient pagans. May Day (Beltane), a.k.a. or the night before, Walpurgisnacht, was the big fertility celebration of the year and it occurred on April 31-May 1.
I plan on writing some more blogs about uncovering the truth about a lot of stuff, especially from witches, that is being spread around that is wrong. In the meantime, I wish every reader a very happy Easter or Passover.
Trivia: Easter is not the proper name for the holiday. The proper name for the day celebrating the resurrection of Jesus is called Pascha. The Germanic peoples were using terms that meant "to shine" or "bright" for Christian religious days and so they called Pascha "Easter", from "east, dawn, to shine". The Saxons were a Germanic tribe which is why the English and Americans use the term Easter instead of Pascha. Today's personification of Easter would be the Easter Bunny, just like Santa Clause is the personification of Christmas.