Eostre might sound a bit odd to a person; however, it does sound quite similar to the holiday of Easter. Many Christians choose to call Easter “Resurrection Day,” which is more accurate due to the fact that the word “Easter” is connected to a pagan goddess and pagan myths.
In this article, we are going to undercover if Eostre is connected to Easter and if it is, in what ways it is connected.
What Is the Meaning of Eostre?
Similar to most Americans, I grew up with the yearly celebration of Easter, which was celebrated by decorations of bunnies hanging on the walls, an annual egg hunt, and egg salad for dinner.
What I didn’t know as a child was that many of these traditional practices associated with Easter are connected to Eostre. Eostre is a West Germanic pagan goddess of dawn, who is celebrated during the spring equinox.
She is associated with fertility, spring, and flowers. Much of the traditional celebrations of Easter, such as rabbits and eggs, are associated with Eostre. The symbols of a bunny rabbit and eggs are often associated with her because rabbits and eggs were symbols of fertility (Ibid.).
As one can see, Eostre has remarkable connections to the holiday that we celebrate today as Easter. The practices of Eostre became mixed in with the celebration of Christ’s resurrection because it occurred during the same time of spring.
Ultimately, Christianity borrowed many practices from the celebration of Eostre and transferred it as part of their own celebration for the resurrection of the Lord.
In other words, the church chose to mix both of these holidays together and turn them into a Christian celebration. This was not uncommon as many Christian celebrations today do have some roots in paganism, such as Christmas trees, New Year’s Day, and Valentine’s Day.
Should Christians Celebrate Easter?
The Easter that is celebrated today is not done in celebration of the Germanic pagan goddess Eostre. Rather, Easter today is celebrated because of the resurrection of our Lord. Many Christians choose to call Easter “Resurrection Day” instead of Easter and that is okay.
Whether you want to call it “Easter” or “Resurrection Day,” it is completely up to you. You can even call it “Jesus Day” if you want! As long as your heart is in the right place and you are celebrating the resurrection of the Lord, that is what matters.
During your Resurrection Day celebrations, you can decorate with bunny rabbits and dye eggs if you want. There is nothing wrong or sinful about bunny rabbits or decorating eggs.
On the other hand, if it bothers you that the traditional bunny rabbit and eggs are linked with the pagan practice of celebrating Eostre, then you are free to abstain from this practice. It is entirely up to you and what you are comfortable with doing.
The important thing to remember as a Christian is that you should not judge somebody nor condemn them if they do use bunny rabbit decorations or dye eggs. In the same way, those who choose to use bunny rabbits and eggs in their celebration should not condemn those who do not.
At the core of the matter is the importance of celebrating and glorifying Jesus’ resurrection from the dead to redeem us from our sins.
Because of Jesus’ resurrection, we have been given the forgiveness of sins, redemption, and eternal life when we place faith in Him (John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Our celebration needs to be rooted in Christ and His ever-abundant grace, mercy, and love.
Celebrating Easter for the Lord
As we have established, Eostre does have close connections with Easter. This is because, over time, the church kept aspects of the pagan practices and morphed them together when the Christian celebration of the Lord’s resurrection.
We can celebrate Easter to the glory of God in the right way by praising, glorifying, and worshipping Him. As I have mentioned, there is nothing wrong with using decorations of bunny rabbits and decorating eggs; however, this should not be the focus of our day.
If we place the cute bunny rabbits, the egg hunts, and egg decorating as the most important part of our day, we are missing out on the true meaning of Resurrection Day. Our day should be focused on the Lord, remembering His resurrection from the dead, and eagerly waiting for His return.
Resurrection Day can also be a time when we can reflect on our lives and examine ourselves to see if we are truly living for God and are living in His Will for our lives.
Just like the true meaning of Easter can easily be swallowed up by the festive decorations, egg hunts, and pastel dresses, Jesus can become excluded from our daily lives.
Easter is a great time to light the fire and passion back into our hearts to grow in our relationship with Him. It is also a great time to share the gospel message with loved ones who have not accepted Him.
Many times, unbelievers may ask Christians why we celebrate Easter, and it can be a great time to share the gospel with them. Even though Easter is connected to Eostre does not mean the Easter we celebrate today is pagan.
Yes, there are similar aspects, such as the time period, the bunny rabbit symbolism, and the tradition of eggs; however, Christians are celebrating the Resurrection of Christ. All of these extra things are simply traditions associated with the holiday.
Christians can choose to use these traditional aspects in their celebration of the Lord, but many may choose not to use them. There is no right or wrong answer because what matters is your heart.
If you are using bunny rabbits and eggs just for a fun addition to Easter, it is fine. However, if you are using the symbolism of rabbits and the symbolism of the fertility of eggs in celebration of the German goddess Eostre, then there is a problem.
I find it highly unlikely that anybody reading this article would use bunny rabbit or egg decorations as symbolism or in celebration of Eostre. Therefore, as long as you are just using the traditions associated with Easter as part of your overall celebration of Christ, it is perfectly fine.
What Does This Mean?
Yes, Eostre is connected to Easter; however, Christians today are not celebrating the Germanic goddess Eostre. When Christians celebrate Easter, they are celebrating the glorious resurrection of the Lord.
Due to deep connections between Easter and Eostre, many Christians choose to call the holiday “Resurrection Day” instead of Easter. Whether a person chooses to call the holiday Easter or Resurrection Day is completely up to them.
What truly matters is a person’s heart motives. The same goes as to how a person chooses to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.
They can choose to use the traditional holiday decorations associated with Easter, such as bunny rabbits and eggs; however, if they prefer not to, that is okay as well.
However, you choose to celebrate the resurrection of the Lord this year, make sure you are glorifying and praising Him for everything He has done.
He has Risen! He has risen indeed!
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Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.