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Religião e Espiritualidade / 01/04/2021


Easter: what is the origin of this international holiday?

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Easter: what is the origin of this international holiday?


Commonly celebrated by everyone, Easter is one of the most anticipated holidays throughout the year. This happens because people all cultures have a way of commemorating this date, including children, who are waiting for the visit of the dreamed bunny. This date is commemorated by Christians, as the day on which the resurrection of Jesus Christ took place. According to the New Testament writings, this festival has been going on since the 2nd century, however, it is possible that since long ago, such a date was celebrated by the faithful.

The date of Easter and its controversies

Due to the fact that it is an event celebrated by several religions, the date ends up undergoing some changes. This happens because each community has its own calendar to be followed.

For example, Western churches use the Gregorian calendar, while Eastern churches use the Julian calendar. Even though it is considered a festival to commemorate Jesus' return, many associate his origin, as belonging to pagan rituals.

According to the New Unger Bible Dictionary: “The word Easter is of Saxon origin, Eastra, the goddess of spring, in whose honor sacrifices were offered at the time and in all years. In the 8th century, the Anglo-Saxons adopted the name to designate the celebration of Christ's resurrection ”. It is with this definition, that many attribute this date as having pagan roots.

The goddess of spring: Eostre

Due to her popularity and her story being told to all communities, the goddess of spring ended up being baptized by other names, so don't be alarmed when you hear or read Ostara, Austra and Eastre as a reference to her. For the elders, this personality represents the personification of the renewal.

For this reason, her worshipers see her as the savior, the one who brought back the light after long periods of living in darkness. This happened with the arrival of spring, more precisely, at the Spring Equinox on March 21. Many believe that the word "Easter" was designated after the appearance of the goddess Eostre. That came after a long dark period, in which it makes reference to winter.

Her symbol was portrayed as being a hare, due to the beginning of spring. For this reason, the practice of using rabbits as an allusion to this special date, especially children, continues to this day.

Easter and Christianity

For these religious, the celebration takes place in commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ himself. This date was decided after the consensus that this event should always be celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox.

Thus, the first Sunday in April is the date chosen for the faithful to commemorate Christ's resurrection or Easter. On the other hand, the Jews celebrate on that date, the liberation slavery, being a very special Sunday, since it was the moment when the people got the hope of living again.

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