Friday, March 29, 2013

Happy Ostara!

It's about time for the annual celebration of Ostara, or as the Christians like to call it, Easter. Keeping consistent with the theft of Christmas, Easter is yet another stolen holiday. Christians... They just can't come up with good holidays on their own.

We all recognize brightly colored eggs and the bunnies as obvious symbols of Easter. But what do they have to do with the church's official stance that Easter is about the resurrection of their Christ? The answer is, not a damn thing! The true origins of Easter do not stem from fairytale of a man being tortured to death and raising from the grave just days later. No, despite what Christianity says, zombie Jesus is not the reason for this season.

The celebrations actually stem from the pagan celebration of the Vernal Equinox. This is the day that the days and nights are once again equal in length (as opposed to the longer nights in Winter), as well as marking the first day of Spring. Nature has long been important in the Pagan traditions, and this time of year was no exception. In fact, the 'new life' of the greening plants was revered. This was the time to celebrate Ostara. (Easter moves about fair bit due to the way the date is calculated and the way the days of the week fall that year.)

The name Ostara comes from the Germanic goddess of Spring called Eostre. But remember the significance of the new life that was of quite import to the Pagans. Well, Ostara was more than just a Spring festival... It was also a fertility festival. This made this time of year a time for planting seeds since this was thought to be the most fertile time of the year. The fertility symbolism is where we find the most recognizable symbols of Easter...

I'm sure we've all heard the phrase 'breeding like rabbits'. This well known idiom is in reference to the quickness with which rabbit can reproduce. The fact that these hare's could conceive while still pregnant with a litter was not lost on the Pagans, who would use the hare as a symbol of their fertility festival.

Then there are the brightly colored eggs that little children find and place in baskets. Eggs in general are another obvious fertility symbol. The painting and chocolate did come later to make money and make the holiday now known as Easter more appealing to kids. But one thing that can easily be seen is that Christianity stole the most favored parts of Easter from the Pagans, just like they stole the most favored parts of Christmas.

But what about the Jesus story? Surely that's original. Yeah, about that... Let me tell you about the pre-Christian god Mithra. Mithra was a Persian god that was said to have been born on the Winter Solstice, and resurrected in the Spring. Sounds familiar doesn't it. In fact, the concept of resurrection was fairly common with various other Pagan gods. Given that this was a time of birth and rebirth, this isn't really that hard to understand.

So with these facts in mind, don't let Christians tell you that Easter is all about Jesus. Armed with these facts, you will know better. Ostara is the original Spring celebration, and the source of the customs so many enjoy. So ditch the praising of some Jewish zombie, and celebrate the wonder of the arrival of Spring.

-Brain Hulk

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