This year, Easter Sunday occurs on March 31 (2013). The Easter celebration takes in a large number of rituals and traditions that may or may not be Christian in nature. Some of the rituals celebrated during the Easter time frame regardless of the day or month that Easter occurs are truly pagan rituals and celebrations, while some are Christian in nature.
While it sounds odd to those who have never heard a true explanation of Easter, this celebration actually started with pagan worship and has absolutely nothing to do with the Crucifixion, or the Resurrection!
The vast majority of churches will not touch the issue of how Easter got its name because it is such a controversial issue. Think about it; you may have celebrated what we know as a “traditional Easter Sunday” for many years, raised your family in traditional Easter celebrations, and now someone is telling you that certain parts of that celebration are pagan in belief!
In many traditional Christian homes, the celebration of Easter Sunday takes place with the appearance of cute little rabbits, pastel colored baby chicks, colored (Easter) eggs, baskets filled with artificial grass and the like. As a matter of fact, there are many churches in the U.S. that actually have the children of the congregation and/or the community participate in Easter Egg Hunts, Egg Rolling Contests, and Egg Coloring contests or gatherings.
All of the above mentioned items for the celebration are really not Christian in nature, but are actually adaptations to the old pagan holidays and rituals of the celebration of the resurrection of one of their gods that they called "Tammuz", who is believed to be the only begotten son of their moon-goddess and the sun-god of the Babylonian culture. "Ishtar", pronounced "Esh-tar", was the goddess of fertility in those pagan days and was responsible for the fertility of everything that could reproduce. That would mean crops, livestock, wild animals and humans.
How did this all happen?
The early Catholic church incorporated those two celebrations of the pagan holidays into the church to entice the pagans to turn to Christianity. The Catholic Church killed two birds with one stone so to speak by incorporating the resurrection of "Tammuz", and the fertility goddess “Ishtar” into their schedule so as to coincide with the Christian celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, the Catholic Church, never did correct the issue with the converted pagans, and that is why we have the pagan celebrations in Christian churches today.
As Christians, this is extremely important because we really need to understand what we are doing on Resurrection Sunday! The celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the tomb has nothing to do with Easter. Some churches refuse to call the celebration by its pagan name of Easter and only refer to it as Resurrection Sunday, the day on which the tomb of Jesus was found empty.
Looking at some of the things that are associated with our traditional Easter Sunday will help understand this:
The Christian Sunrise service: The Sunrise Service that takes place in many Christian churches is a pagan ritual, part of the worship of their “sun god”.
Rabbits, Baby Chicks, and Easter Eggs: All symbolize fertility in old pagan cultures and have absolutely nothing to do with Christianity.
How Is The Date For Easter Selected? The particular Sunday for Christian Easter worship is determined by the first full Moon after March 20, or the Spring Equinox.
The Spring Equinox was a sign to the pagans that crops should be planted, and things began to renew themselves from the colder winter months. Attribute this date selection process to the pagan "moon goddess".
Old habits die hard, and the early Catholic Church is responsible for the confusion. What is important is a Christian must truly understand the difference between the pagan and Christian part of Easter (Resurrection Sunday) or we will wind up worshiping in pagan rituals.
Copyright © 2013 by: Jake Jones