The Evolution of the name ‘Easter’
The beauty of Easter Sunday is that it’s a different experience for everyone all over the world. As a dominantly Catholic nation, the Philippines celebrates the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday. Although mentioned once in the Book of Acts 12:4 in the King James Version of the Holy Bible, it remains unclear where the name ‘Easter’ comes from.
Venerable Bede is an English monk during the 8th century who attempted to explain where the name ‘Easter’ originated. Referring to her only once in The Reckoning of Time, Bede claims that Easter is named after the goddess of spring, Eostre in Britain, or Ostara in Germany.
Eostre as a symbol of fertility
Eostre is believed to be the fertility goddess of the Anglo-Saxon, who they honored during the spring, but she was erased from history when they merged her legend with the resurrection of Christ after converting to Christianity. In European history, the Anglo-Saxons were pagan migrants from Northern Europe who settled in Britain in the fifth and sixth centuries.
The mere mention of Eostre and how she is linked to Easter, eggs, and bunnies got people thinking.
There is one popular legend wherein Eostre finds an injured bird on the ground late in winter. In hopes of saving it, she transforms it into a hare. The bird takes the appearance of a hare, but it retains its ability to lay eggs.
The hare would decorate these eggs and gives them to Eostre out of gratitude.
Eostre’s legacy lives on
Insufficient evidence has led many to suppose that Eostre was just a figment of Bede’s imagination until Jacob Grimm validated Eostre’s existence by mentioning Ostara in his work in 1835.
The Brothers Grimm were the German masterminds behind Grimm’s Fairytales, the book known for classical tales such as Rumpelstiltskin and Snow White. Once Grimm introduced Eostre to the world, people started to add parts to her story that paints her as the colorful character she is remembered as today.
In 2001, English author Neil Gaiman brings Eostre back to life as Ostara in his fantasy novel, American Gods.
Due to its popularity, the book found its way to television in 2017. Ostara, portayed by Kristin Chenowith, only appears in the recurring second season of the television show.
The evolution of Easter has come a long way from Paganism to German folklore to American television, so who knows where Easter can come up next?
Though it is unsure whether Eostre is real or not, Easter is just around the corner.
Whoever we celebrate and however we celebrate, it is best to continue believing to keep the holiday of Easter alive.
Enjoy getting face paint, hop on their inflatable rides, or join an Easter egg hunting this April 21 at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino and celebrate a fun-filled day with the family.
Guest can also buy a ticket for only P600 at the hotel.
Celebrate a unique kind of Easter where kids can escape into the wilderness with fun encounters, costume contests, at any of these establishments.
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