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OUR READERS ASK . . . Is Easter Really a Christian Celebration? Easter is described in the Encyclopædia Britannica as the “principal festival of the Christian church that celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.” However, is it a Christian celebration? To establish the authenticity of an artifact, attention to detail is critical. Similarly, for us to see whether Easter is a Christian celebration, it is essential that we take a look at the details related to Easter. First of all, Jesus asked his followers to commemorate, not his resurrection, but his death. The apostle Paul called this occasion “the Lord’s Evening Meal.”—1 Corinthians 11:20;Luke 22:19, 20. Additionally, many of the Easter traditions “have little to do” with Jesus’ resurrection, states the Britannica, “but derive from folk customs.” For instance, regarding the popular Easter symbols the egg and the rabbit, The Encyclopedia of Religion says: “The egg symbolizes new life breaking through the apparent death (hardness) of the eggshell.” It adds: “The rabbit was known as an extraordinarily fertile creature, and hence it symbolized the coming of spring." http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2015165 Easter. “There is no indication of the observance of the Easter festival in the New Testament,” states The Encyclopædia Britannica. How did Easter get started? It is rooted in pagan worship. While this holiday is supposed to commemorate Jesus’ resurrection, the customs associated with the Easter season are not Christian. For instance, concerning the popular “Easter bunny,” The Catholic Encyclopedia says: “The rabbit is a pagan symbol and has always been an emblem of fertility.” http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1102005163 EASTER—FERTILITY WORSHIP IN DISGUISE Promoted as a celebration of Christ’s resurrection, Easter is actually rooted in false religion. The name Easter itself has been linked to Eostre, or Ostara, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of the dawn and of spring. And how did eggs and rabbits come to be associated with Easter? Eggs “have been prominent as symbols of new life and resurrection,” says the Encyclopædia Britannica, while the hare and the rabbit have long served as symbols of fertility. Easter, therefore, is really a fertility rite thinly disguised as a celebration of Christ’s resurrection.* Would Jehovah condone the use of a filthy fertility rite to commemorate his Son’s resurrection? Never! (2 Corinthians 6:17, 18) In fact, the Scriptures neither command nor authorize the commemorating of Jesus’ resurrection in the first place. To do so in the name of Easter, therefore, is to be doubly disloyal. http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1102008072 References * Barnhart, Robert K. (1995). The Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology: The Origins of American English Words. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-270084-7 * Billson, Charles J. (1892). "The Easter Hare" as published in Folk-Lore, Vol. 3, No. 4 (December 1892). Taylor & Francis, Ltd. on behalf of Folklore Enterprises Ltd. * Boyle, John Andrew (1974). "The Hare in Myth and Reality: A Review Article" as published in Folklore, Vol. 84, No. 4 (Winter, 1973). Taylor & Francis, Ltd. on behalf of Folklore Enterprises Ltd. * Cusack, Carole M. (2008). "The Return of the Goddess: Mythology, Witchcraft and Feminist Spirituality" as published in Pizza, Murphy. Lewis, James R. (Editors). Handbook of Contemporary Paganism. Brill Publishers. ISBN 9004163735 * Diesel, Andreas. Gerten, Dieter (2007). Looking for Europe: Neofolk und Hintergründe. Index Verlag. ISBN 3-936878-02-1 * Grimm, Jacob (James Steven Stallybrass Trans.) (1882). Teutonic Mythology: Translated from the Fourth Edition with Notes and Appendix Vol. I. London: George Bell and Sons. * Grimm, Jacob (James Steven Stallybrass Trans.) (1883). Teutonic Mythology: Translated from the Fourth Edition with Notes and Appendix Vol. II. London: George Bell and Sons. * Hubbard, Benjamin Jerome. Hatfield, John T. Santucci, James A. (2007). An Educator's Classroom Guide to America's Religious Beliefs and Practices. Libraries Unlimited. ISBN 1-59158-409-4 * Giles, John Allen (1843). The Complete Works of the Venerable Bede, in the Original Latin, Collated with the Manuscripts, and Various Print Editions, Accompanied by a New English Translation of the Historical Works, and a Life of the Author. Vol. VI: Scientific Tracts and Appendix. London: Whittaker and Co., Ave Maria Lane. * Mallory, J. P.; Adams, Douglas Q. (1997). Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 1-884964-98-2. * Shaw, Philip A. (2011). Pagan Goddesses in the Early Germanic World: Eostre, Hreda and the Cult of Matrons. Bristol Classical Press. ISBN 978-0-7156-3797-5 * Schmadel, Lutz D. (2003). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names, fifth edition, illustrated. Springer. ISBN 3-540-00238-3 * Simek, Rudolf (2007) translated by Angela Hall. Dictionary of Northern Mythology. D.S. Brewer. ISBN 0-85991-513-1 * Wallis, Faith (Trans.) (1999). Bede: The Reckoning of Time. Liverpool University Press. ISBN 0-85323-693-3 * Watkins, Calvert (2006 ). The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 0-618-08250-6 https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ēostre