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Online Reference For Body, Mind & Spirit

Term: Easter

DEFINITION:

Celebration of the resurrection of the Christian deity, Jesus, known as the Christ, three days after His death from crucifixion. Easter is associated with astronomical indicators and is therefore a “moveable feast,” its date changing each year. In 325 c.e. it was fixed as the first Sunday after the full moon following the spring equinox. This means it will occur between March 22 and April 25.

According to the Christian monk the Venerable Bede (673–735 c.e.), the renowned recorder of the early history of Christianity in England, the name of the holiday is derived from the name of the Germanic goddess of the dawn, Eostre, “in whose honor feasts were celebrated in that month” during which Easter is celebrated. [From De Temporum Ratione (On the Reckoning of Time) c. 730.] Her symbols are hares and eggs, indicating that those symbols of Easter would have a Pagan origin. More recently, scholars have questioned Bede’s accuracy, claiming that the name was not associated with a goddess and the symbols were simply Germanic Easter practices. This does not explain how the use of those symbols began, only that they were used.

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