Ponder over Coffee: The Myth That Christian Easter Has Roots in Paganism

A collective Christian 'we' has just celebrated Easter.  While reading various message boards this evening, passing the time until I go to bed and read my post-apocalyptic and Sci-fi books before heading off to dreamland, I came across this quote about how it's a myth that modern customs and holidays have roots in Pagan practices. 

From the exmormon board:

It's a common myth that modern customs are survivals of Pagan practices in antiquity. The only thing they have in common are usually dates -- Christmas is near the winter solstice, Easter near spring equinox.

The idea of Pagan survivals originated as speculation, and soon people were saying it as if it were established fact. The idea was popular in the 1980s and 1990s, but has been discredited by scholars.

"There is no evidence that Pagans in antiquity 
especially revered rabbits or associated them 
with spring celebrations, same with eggs. 
There is also no evidence of winter solstice trees 
as a precursor of the Christmas tree."



"......  Most Americans, according to a 2010 Barna poll, consider Easter to be a religious holiday. Yet, because of similar traditions about eggs and spring found in ancient cultures, belief persists that Easter has pagan roots"

"I would like to assure you that Easter is a Christian holiday.

Yes, The Venerable Bede did write in the 8th century that the name Easter stems from the goddess “Eostre” who gave her name to the “Eostur” month. How easily the public has swallowed this statement as “fact,” however, testifies to why the world needs historians. No historical evidence exists to support Bede’s statement. Indeed, scholars have long known that Bede provides interpretations based on his own opinions instead of supporting historical evidence (i.e., not everything he says is correct!). Historian Ronald Hutton, lamenting how Bede’s statement “has been so often quoted without any inspection or criticism,” stresses that “it is equally valid…to suggest that the Anglo-Saxon ‘Eoster-monath’ simply meant ‘the month of opening’ or ‘the month of beginnings’, and that Bede mistakenly connected it with a goddess who either never existed at all, or was never associated with a particular season, but merely, like Eos and Aurora, with the dawn itself.” As historical evidence for this “shadowy deity” evaporates, Hutton continues, all evidence for a March/April “pre-Christian festival in the British Isles” also evaporates."

You may choose to continue reading at the link above.  

Always nice to have something interesting to read over coffee.