Is Easter a Pagan Holiday?

While rabbits and eggs have nothing to do with Jesus, the word Easter is actually based on the ancient German word for “rise” so it is synonymous with resurrections. This is the reason we call the direction the sun rises in the “east” in English. English is a Germanic language, not a Latin one so it uses a different word for Easter from the Latin languages like Spanish, French, etc. Latin languages use a variation of Pascha which is the Latin/Greek translation of Pesach. Pesach is the Hebrew word for Passover a.k.a “The Festival of Unleavened Bread”. Some say Easter is a pagan holiday because it is related to the Babylonian fertility goddess Ishtar. The Ishtar connection with Easter is a false cognate. Those language groups aren’t even in the same family, and Easter is only used in English and German.

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The Church and Halloween

Should Christians celebrate Halloween? The first question is what is Halloween? Halloween comes from “All Hallow’s Eve” which was the day before “All Hallow’s Day” when ancient European Christians would remember the dead. The name “All Hallow’s Eve” changed over time and became “Hallowe’en.” In the early 7th century Pope Boniface IV consecrated the Pantheon in Rome, which was a temple to all the Roman gods. Instead, now they would celebrate all the saints and the chosen date was May 13th. Later Pope Gregory III changed the date to November 1st. This change was likely to counteract former pagan celebrations happening at the time. Alternative theories suggest it is based on Samhain an ancient pagan holiday that the church wanted to absorb so they could convert people more easily. There are various theories about the origin of Halloween, but what know for sure is that the Roman Church celebrates all of Satins Day to honor the Dead. They later made November 2nd all souls day to honor all of the dead. The concept of celebrating or honoring the dead in a special way is not based on the Bible so seems more like an attempt to maintain certain cultural traditions in post-Christian Europe.

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