Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter, Step by Step

  • Ancient Babylonians and Syrians worshipped the goddess Ishtar.
  • Among Semitic worshippers, the same goddess was called Astarte.
  • When her cult spread to Europe, her name evolved into Ostara.
  • The name came into Anglo-Saxon as Eastre.
Her feast occurred during the vernal equinox, and since she was a fertility goddess, prolific symbols such as rabbits and eggs were part of the trappings.

Canny Christian missionaries incorporated some of the features into their celebration of the Resurrection.

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