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Origins of EasterOrigins of Easter
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Origins of Easter

Easter as is celebrated in the northern hemisphere by adults and children alike is often considered to be Jesus’ reincarnation day. That is why it is celebrated as the birth of happiness, freedom and life. Going deep in history there are different origins from where Easter has seemingly arisen. Even though there are various viewpoints as regards the origin of Easter, historians and scholars believe that Easter is originally a pagan festival. Two primary beliefs confirmed by Biblical scholars, as to the rise of celebration of Easter have been discussed below:

As a Symbol of Reincarnation

The origin goes back to the period when the biblical Flood or the Devine Judgment was sent on mankind to perish the evil that had become all-encompassing. However Noah and his family were preserved as God wanted to give a second chance to mankind. Noah’s Great Grandson, Nimrod was a very talented yet an evil person. He gradually became very powerful and rebelled against God. Some say his wife, Easter/Ishatar, after the death of Nimrod, gave birth to Tammuz who was hailed as the savior. Both mother and son were continued to be worshipped as the Gods of sun and moon.

A different source says that Ishatar or Inanna was the wife of Tammuz and as Tammuz died she followed him to the Underworld, utterly grief stricken and devastated. On reaching the Underworld she was humiliated, judged, killed and hung on display. In the absence of Tammuz and Inanna, the world lost its fertility, life stopped reproducing and crops ceased to grow. Inanna’s assistant went to other Gods for help and then one of them called Enki decided to resurrect Tammuz and Inanna. After resurrection of the couple, life sprang back to its original form and the cycle of death and life began to continue. Easter tale of crucifixion and resurgence is symbolic of revival and rebirth and it determines the cycle of seasons, life and death.

Often the resurrection of Inanna/Ishatar/ Ostara/ Eastre as she is known in different civilization, is being held as an adaptation of Christ’s resurrection which is being observed on Easter celebration.

As a Celebration of Goddess of Spring

Another perspective says that Easter, a word of Saxon origin, marks the beginning of spring and is celebrated in honor of Eostre, the Goddess of Spring. She is otherwise known as Ostara, Austra and Eastra. She is hailed as the goddess of renewal by both the ancient and the modern generations. She is also depicted with hare, an animal that signifies onset of spring and fertility of the season; hence the concept of Easter bunny.

Easter marks the day when light is equal to darkness and will grow in power with every passing day. Eostre is not only the harbinger of light and renewal; she is also a power that brings joy, prosperity and fertility. That is why Easter is often celebrated as the day when resurrection of Jesus Christ took place as both the incidents mark a new beginning and regeneration of life.

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