The history of Easter and the pagan goddess Ēostre

Carla Paton

The history of Easter is deeply rooted in the history of Ēostre, a pagan goddess celebrated by the Saxons during the month of April. Her feast day was marked by fertility rites and the giving of eggs, which represented new life. It is thought that Ēostre was eventually absorbed into the Christian tradition, and her name was given to the Easter holiday. Some believe that the Easter bunny is also a remnant of Ēostre's worship, as she was often depicted with rabbits or hares. While we may not know everything about this ancient goddess, her legacy can still be seen in modern Easter celebrations!

However, Ēostre's origins are somewhat mysterious, as there is very little evidence to support her existence outside of medieval texts. However, some scholars believe that she may have been based on a real person or goddess from Germanic paganism. Her name is thought to be derived from the Old English words for "east" or "dawn", signifying her role as a bringer of light and life. Easter is traditionally celebrated in the springtime, which could also be linked to Ēostre's association with fertility and new beginnings.

It's clear that Ēostre played an important role in the lives of the Saxons, and her influence can still be seen in modern Easter celebrations. Many of our cherished traditions can be traced back to this ancient goddess, from Easter eggs to the Easter bunny. So next time you celebrate Easter, take a moment to reflect on the fascinating history behind this holiday!

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Colorado Highland cattle rancher. Writer and lover of nature and animals.

Colorado State
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