Pagan Religious Traditions

    Many things about Easter are neither Jewish nor Christian in origin.  For example, the English name "Easter" and the German name "Ostern" are both derived from old Germanic roots.  Also, the traditions of having an "Easter Eve Bonfire" or burning Easter wheels and then pushing them downhill come from Germanic and Celtic heliolatry (sun worship).  Even the popular colorful Easter egg has its origins in another pagan belief:  It was considered a symbol of fertility in Ancient Egypt.

Today, eggs are nearly synonymous with Easter in many countries, including Germany, Austria and Switzerland.  At the end of Lent, hard-boiled eggs are coloured, and Easter trees or bouquets are decorated with little wooden figurines and hollowed-out painted eggs.  People also buy or bake special Easter breads which are bursting with raisins.


Jo-Anne Larre

Jo-Anne Larre

CENTURY 21 Fusion
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