Easter (also called Pascha)

Easter (also called Pascha) is generally accounted the most important holiday of the Christian year, observed March or April each year to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead (after his death by crucifixion), which Christians believe happened at about this time of year, almost two thousand years ago. (Easter can also refer to the season of the church year, lasting for nearly two months, which follows this holiday and ends around Pentecost.)

In most languages other than English and German, the holiday's name is derived from Pesach, the Hebrew name of Passover, a Jewish holiday to which the Christian Easter is intimately linked. Easter depends on Passover not only for much of its symbolic meaning but also for its position in the calendar; the Last Supper shared by Jesus and his disciples before his crucifixion is generally thought of as a Passover seder.

The English and German names, "Easter" and "Ostern", seem clearly unrelated to Pesach etymologically and likely derive either from Eostremonat, an old Germanic month name, or Eostre, an Asatru fertility goddess whom the 8th century English historian Bede records was honored with a fertility festival during Eostremonat. It has been suggested that many of modern Easter's symbols, such as colored eggs and the Easter Bunny, are cultural remnants of Eostre's springtime fertility festival, even though giving of eggs at spring festivals was not restricted to Germanic peoples and could be found among the Persians, the Romans, and the Jews, and that Eostre merged with the Christian Pesach celebrations after the Germanic heathens were Christianized (see Easter as a Germanic Heathen festival below.). This theory would, of course, require that the Germanics somehow managed to dominate all of Christianity, even including Christianity in India.

Easter - Jesus Christ

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