Easter is a Christian event that honours the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Although Easter is connected with Christianity, many of its customs actually originate from pre-Christian, pagan cultures.
The celebration of Easter has acquired some myths over the years due to its popularity all over the world and the fact that it is even observed as a national public holiday in nations where Christianity is the official state religion.
In this post, we examine a variety of Easter-related myths from around the world.
Eating of flesh and blood
The Easter superstition that anything with blood should be avoided is widespread in Nigeria. On this holy day, eating meat, fish, or any other animal products is frowned upon since it is thought that by doing so, Christ would be subjected to a new death sentence.
Rabbit from Easter
The Easter Bunny is connected to Easter in the same way that Christmas is connected to Father Christmas (Santa Claus). The story surrounding the Easter Bunny is that he appears as a deliverer of eggs, keen on rewarding the good. The Easter Bunny is of German descent, just like Santa.
The Easter Bunny initially appeared in literature from the 16th century, and it is generally accepted that he exclusively brings colored eggs to well-behaved decent kids. German immigrants to Pennsylvania brought the bunny tradition to the United States, but contrary to popular belief, bunnies may not have as much to do with Easter.
The Easter egg is a representation of the resurrection and continuity of life, and is regarded as a natural marvel and evidence of the rebirth of life.
The egg is seen as the pinnacle of fertility in relation to Easter, and when Christianity grew further, the egg came to represent Christ’s ascension from the grave.
The Island of Easter
Unknown to most people, yet there is a fable about an island. In a dream, Hau-Maka, a wise man, a prophet, and a counselor to the Akiri (king), saw the God of creation, Make-Make, who led him to Easter Island.
This is how the Rapa Nui society, led by the stars and Hau-Maka, was able to reach their new location and endure the disappearance of their old settlement when the earth was flooded.
There is the urban legend that has become a tradition that ham should be consumed on Easter. This custom of eating ham probably originated from the practice of killing an animal before fall and preserving it in salt for the winter, sometimes by burying it close to the sea.
According to a research, 67% of Americans serve ham at their Easter feasts, breaking any meat fasts observed throughout Lent.
The name “Easter”
Several people believe that Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess of fertility and love, or Eostre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, were the inspirations for the term “Easter.”
Certain Easter customs associate the name with Ishtar, which gives rise to this notion. As the “Queen of Heaven,” Ishtar was revered by the Babylonians, Assyrians, and Akkadians.
Easter was modeled from pagan festivals honouring fertility and the coming of spring.
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