If you doubt Easter is a Pagan holiday, remember the timing of this celebration is governed by the phases of the moon.
How pagan is that?
Easter, of course, is simply a celebration of a turn of seasons.
The cross is the cross of the sun -- the same cross representation of the sun we see in every culture going back before the dawn of time.
The resurrection is simply a nod to the reawakening of earth following the "death" and darkness of winter.
Easter is not a holiday mentioned in the New Testament, and seems to have its origins in Rome where the Cybele cult flourished on the hill where the Vatican is now located.
Is it really an accident that Cybele was a virgin who gave birth to a son, Attis, on December 25th, and that this son was crucified on a tree on Black Friday, and resurrected three days later?
So where did Easter Eggs and Eater Bunnies come from?
According to the Venerable Bede, Easter or Eostre, was the pagan goddess of fertility, spring and the dawn.
Her symbols, we are told, were flowers, rabbits, and eggs, as well as the sun and the moon.
According to an ancient German tale associated with Eostre (a tale that seems to first pop up as a Brother's Grimm's Fairy Tale), a little girl found a bird in the snow that was close to death, and she prayed to Eostre, the Goddess of Spring, to help the bird.
Eostre appeared, crossing a rainbow bridge, with the snow melting before her feet as she walked.
Seeing that the bird was badly wounded and cold, she magically turned it into a rabbit so it could survive the blustery winds. Unfortunately, however the transformation from bird to rabbit was incomplete, and the rabbit retained the ability to lay eggs. Nonetheless, in thanks for savings its life, the rabbit took the eggs that it laid, and decorated them, offering them up as gifts to Eostre at this time of year.
Yes, a pretty crazy story, but actually easy to understand if we understand that eggs are an easy-to-see sign of estrus (ovulation), and that the fecundity of rabbits has been legend since the beginning.
Mix it all up in a game of "telephone" played over 1,000 years, and you get Easter egg baskets with chocolate bunnies inside.
And no, I do not make this stuff up (someone else does that).
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** Happy Festivus