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Put all your eggs in one basket, and watch that basket!

April 20, 2011

Rusyn Pysanky

Faith Versus Evidence: Is Easter True?

This week millions of Christians all over the world will be commemorating the death and subsequent resurrection of Jesus Christ, in a holiday season known as Easter. In Europe, Africa and Asia for example, commercial activities and several other significant sectors of the economy will be shut down to enable citizens to travel to their hometowns to join with family members, and to reflect on and relive these events which are indeed the founding pillars of the Christian religion itself. Easter therefore, arguably, represents the most important and defining events of the Christian faith. In Ghana for example Easter is one of those times when families mobilize resources to treat themselves to rich nutritious food like chicken, which otherwise is beyond their means to be eaten on a regular basis. However some issues concerning this important celebration remain unclear and unaddressed as of the present time. The purpose of this essay is to review some of these questions and see how they stack up against the prevailing known evidence.

Image Credit: Instructables.com 

Naturally the first place to look for the evidence of Easter would be the Bible itself as the Easter events are the most important narrative of the Christian faith. But sadly the word Easter is nowhere be to be found in the Bible. Not even once is it mentioned, let alone are adherents asked to celebrate it every year. So how is this? How come Easter does not appear in any of the 66 books of the Bible? Even after Jesus ascended back to heaven, the early Christians from Acts to Revelations would have been expected to have some celebration of this event even if it was not explicitly called Easter, but no such thing occurred. Why? Then what is Easter and what does it mean? Where did the word Easter come from? And the current celebrations we know, such as Good Friday, Easter Monday, Easter eggs, and the Easter bunny. Where did they come from?

The ancient Babylonians celebrated an annual feast in the third week of March to celebrate the equinox and to officially declare the end of winter and the time from which every year the daylight hours become longer than the darkness hours. They associated this triumph of light over darkness, as well as the fact that more daylight and warmer temperatures meant rejuvenation of life or resurrection after a long cold and winter during which time food was scarce and hard to come by. Due to the blossoming of new flowers and plants regaining their green foliage as well animals coming out from hibernation many beginning their mating season, the ancient Babylonians associated this event with the rebirth and fertility. The Babylonian goddess of fertility was called Ishtar. This is the origin of the word Easter.

At some later data the ancient Romans who also had a similar festival of their own, conquered the entire region and some of these customs were incorporated into the ancient Roman religion. As we all know the Romans later conquered the whole Europe and swaths of Asia. Among their vassal states were ancient tribes that became the ancestors of the Germans. The Germanic tribes had a similar festival of their own where they honored a fertility goddess named Eostur. This goddess was symbolized by a rabbit. The rabbit was always portrayed as standing beside a brood of eggs ready to hatch and continue the cycle of life all afresh. The month in which the goddess Eostur was honored was called Eostur-monath and is equivalent to April in our current modern calendar invented by Julius Caesar. This is the origin of the so called Easter bunny and Easter eggs. It is interesting to note that it was German immigrants to Pennsylvania in the 18th century who introduced this tradition in what became the United States of America. The Germanic traditions also became merged into the Roman religion.

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Yeah….yeah…yeah.  Same old argument covering well-traveled dusty old ground. If you want to read the rest of this diatribe at GhanaWeb click here.

Easter in Australia is all counting bodies ~ Don’t be a bunny on the roads ~ the annual Easter Road Toll.  It’s a Red Chestnut kinda buzz, ya know?  All that fear coming down mixed with chocolate…..

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2 comments

  1. Love all the photos of pysanky! My Rare One is a pysanky artist and I’ve made a few in my time too.


  2. Learning how to make pysanky is in my Bucket List.



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