Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Eostre / Easter: ancient European roots of the season

Eostre: Anglo-Saxon (English / Celtic) goddess of the season of Spring. Associated with the rising sun.

Easter: chief feast of the Christian church. Celebrates resurrection of Christ after the crucificion. Date of Easter set by the arrival of the first full moon after the Spring equinox.

B&N Encyclopedia.

Pagan: One who is not a Christian, Muslim, or Jew, especially an adherent of a polytheistic religion in antiquity. The early Christians often used the term to refer to non-Christians who worshiped multiple deities. Christian missionaries frequently sought to stamp out pagan practices by building churches on the sites of pagan shrines or by associating Christian holidays with pagan rituals (e.g., linking Christmas with the celebration of the winter solstice).

Christian timeline:
Epiphany / Twelfth Night
Carnival season
Fat Tuesday
Ash Wed.
Season of Lent (bona opera, "good works")
Holy Week (Maundy Thur, Good Fri, Holy Sat)

From ancient fertility rites (rituals): the rabbit, the egg, etc.

Valentine, Italian bishop who opposed the Roman emperor on a marriage issue. He was executed AD 270.

White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (W A S P): dominant group of American politics and business until recently.

Angles and Saxons were Germanic tribes who migrated to Britain and were influential. Thus the name Angleland, or England.

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