To the editor:
I would like to elaborate on Paul Frownfelter’s column of March 20, concerning the connection between pagan customs and Christian holidays.
In the pre-Christian era, there was an ethnic group that inhabited Northern Scotland who were known as the Pict.
Like many pre-Christian religions, they celebrated the rebirth of the land on the spring equinox after the long, dark, dead winter. Their word for this holiday was Eoster (with an o, not an a).
The celebration included many symbols associated with spring, including early flowers and other foliage as well as the birth of animals and the promise of hatchlings from the eggs.
The Pict marked important events in their personal lives with tattoos. Because of this custom, it is logical that they also may have marked the eggs with simple artwork that conveyed a message.
This may have been the origin of decorating eggs, although I am not sure about this.
The resurrection of Jesus marked the rebirth of the human spirit after a long, dark era of sin (the wages of sin is death).
Like Eoster, Easter is connected with the spring equinox, occurring on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox.
It is interesting to note that most European languages do not use any word similar to Easter, and that many of them are more similar to the word for Passover. Easter is predominately an English word.
Due to similarities between the names of both holidays, the timing of them, and the symbols of spring associated with both holidays, it would be difficult to imagine that Easter did not at least partially evolve from Eoster, and that the Christian concepts were added as Christianity was introduced.
I hope that someone might find this information interesting.
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