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NO, Easter itself is notNO, Easter itself is not pagan. It is a Christian celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. That is what Easter is for Christians. However, as far as how it became known as "Easter", along with many other practices of Easter, this does have quit a bit of basis in ancient Pagan faiths. The word "Easter" comes from Eostre (a.k.a. Eastre). She was the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxon people in Northern Europe. This goddess was also part of other similar deities like the "Teutonic dawn goddess of fertility [was] known variously as Ostare, Ostara, Ostern, Eostra, Eostre, Eostur, Eastra, Eastur, Austron and Ausos." Her name was derived from the ancient word for spring: "eastre." Also, throughout other ancient cultures there were similar deities celebrating birth and renewal and Istar, from Assyria was one of them, along with others such as Astarte from ancient Greece, Ashtoreth from ancient Isreal, Kali from Indian, and others. Here is an alternate basis or origin of the word "Easter" that can be found on the internet: "An alternative explanation has been suggested. The name given by the Frankish church to Jesus' resurrection festival included the Latin word "alba" which means "white." (This was a reference to the white robes that were worn during the festival.) "Alba" also has a second meaning: "sunrise." When the name of the festival was translated into German, the "sunrise" meaning was selected in error. This became "ostern" in German. Ostern has been proposed as the origin of the word "Easter"." Then we have the developing and power growing early Christian church wanting to Christianize "Pagan" people mostly in Europe. This leads to the Christian church using symbolism from the Pagan's beliefs to influence the Pagans into accepting Christianity, and the Church created the celebrations around the celebrations the Pagans already had during springtime to honor their deities named above. So in essence the Easter celebration was a mixing of Christian beliefs and Pagan celebrations, in order to bring Pagan's into Christianity. This works because these Pagan celebrations are about renewal, revival, and the rebirth of life at the coming of spring after the "death" brought on by winter. The symbolism follows closely with the story of Jesus, his death (winter), and subsequent rebirth and revival (spring). Some say the Christian story and the Pagan stories about their deities influenced each other. The story of Ishtar is eye opening as you can easily see many things about Ishtar and the stories that clearly parallel Jesus, the Trinity, and other things like the the cycle of the moon, which as we know is how the day for Easter is calculated. The story also reveals a "40 day" time of mourning and sarrow, and how "no meat" was to be eaten during this period, just like the fasting before Easter. Then there is Oester a great northern goddess who's symbol is the rabbit! It's interesting to realize that Jesus's death and resurrection is NOT celebrated in the Bible as "Easter", and there is no description of an Easter celebration nor how to celebrate or anything. The acceptance/belief in the resurrection of Jesus is the cornerstone of Christian faith. Wanting to then celebrate that momentous event is why Easter was created. And it was created by taking things from various Pagan traditions to construct a holiday "HOLY DAY" that have become Christian traditions, down to even the name, "Easter". Still, I do not accept the Easter is a Pagan holiday, because it does not celebrate a Pagan event. Yet, I do understand how and why Pagan traditions and imagery were adopted and adapted in order to create a celebration to honor and remember the death and resurrection of Jesus, and it is due to those adoptions and adaptations that led Pagans toward and into Christianity. Easter as risen. Truly it has risen. :)

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