The Truth about Easter Traditions

The Truth About Easter TraditionsHave you ever wondered why we observe the present-day Easter symbols and traditions? If you knew their origins, would it make a difference in the way you allow your children to observe this holiday? Like the celebration of Christ's birth at Christmas, Easter has turned into a melting pot of activities that have nothing to do with our Lord's death and resurrection. Although traditions like the Easter bunny and Easter egg hunts seem as harmless as believing in Santa Claus, they actually have a significant association with pagan worship and rituals from the past.

Easter's name - The name Easter is never associated with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in the original Scriptures and is actually derived from the word "Eostre." Eostre was Queen Semiramis, the wife of Nimrod, Noah's evil but enterprising great grandson (Genesis 10:6-8).

Eostre's history - Nimrod built the major cities of Babel, Asshur, Nineveh, and Calah (Genesis 10:10-12), which were known for their evil and unimaginable worship practices and perversion. Remember the story of Jonah? After Nimrod's death, Queen Semiramis kept these evil practices alive by deifying Nimrod as the sun god. Later, Queen Semiramis gave birth to an illegitimate son, Tammuz. She convinced the people that this son was supernaturally conceived and the child promised by God in Genesis 3:15. The people worshipped Tammuz as the reincarnation of Nimrod, but more importantly, the people worshipped Queen Semiramis as the mother goddess. The horrible human sacrifice, idolatry, astrology, and satanic worship in these false religions -sun (Nimrod) and moon (Eostre) - continued until the time of the Tower of Babel. Because of their sin, God confused the people's language to disperse them throughout the world (Genesis 11:7).

As the people resettled in new lands, they took their pagan worship with them. Queen Semiramis came to be known as Ostera (an Anglo-Saxon goddess who symbolized the rebirth of the day and new life in the spring), Astarte (Phoenician goddess of the moon), Eastre, and Ashtaroth or Ashtoreth (the wife of Baal and the queen of heaven). Nimrod's other names were Baal, Baalim, Molech, the god of fire, and the great life giver. Any serious study of the Old Testament reveals God's hatred for this false worship, and Ezekiel 8:14 specifically mentions Tammuz in its condemnation.

Easter's origin - The beginning of Easter goes back to the springtime ritual begun by Queen Semiramis following the death of Tammuz. Legend has it that through her tears, Tammuz could be resurrected in the reincarnated form of new vegetation on Earth.

With the spread of Christianity many years later, it was a common practice to adapt the existing non-Christian festivals and assimilate them into Christian theology. Because Queen Semiramis (Eostre) was the goddess of spring and her symbolism dealt with renewal and rebirth, the Christian belief in the resurrection of Christ fit well with these themes.

Today, American history teaches us that Easter was dismissed as a pagan holiday by the nation's founding Puritans and did not begin to be observed widely until after the Civil War.

Easter eggs/baskets - The Babylonians considered the egg a sacred symbol that represented Ostera's fertility and new life (the 28-day cycle of the moon and the monthly cycle of a woman). The Babylonians believed in a fable about a huge egg that fell from heaven into the Euphrates River which hatched Queen Semiramis. Egg dying was observed in the evil rituals celebrating the spring equinox.

The Egyptians hung decorated eggs in the temple, and the Romans used decorated eggs in processions honoring the mother goddess. The Druids used the egg as their sacred emblem. Gauls, Chinese, and Persians also used colored eggs for their ancient pagan spring festivals to represent rebirth. During the Middle Ages, Europeans collected different colored bird eggs from nests to use as charms against evil and bring them good fortune. Later, the painting of eggs became more popular. Now, the Easter basket is used to resemble birds' nests.

Easter bunny - Rabbits have long been recognized as a fertility symbol and can also be traced back to the practices established by Semiramis. In the 1500s in Germany, some people believed that bunnies laid red eggs on Holy Thursday and multi-colored eggs the night before Easter Sunday. Later, the custom evolved into edible Easter bunnies made out of sugared pastry. This tradition came to America during the 1700s with the Pennsylvania Dutch, who emigrated from Germany, and evolved into chocolate Easter bunnies and eggs during the American Civil War. Children believed that if they were good to the "Oschter haw" (Easter bunny), he would lay a nest of colored eggs.

After reading the enlightening details above, one might wonder if there isn't a better way to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. The LIFEPAC 1st Grade Bible Unit 10 Worktext from Alpha Omega Publications can help with information that teaches Easter's true meaning as found in 1 Corinthians 15:3b-4, "Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures." Perhaps it's time we change the world's Easter back to Christ's "Resurrection Sunday" and offer heartfelt praises for Christ's sacrifice and victory over sin and death. Hallelujah, He has risen!

Comments(32 comments)


New comments are currently disabled, be sure to check back later.

ABIGAIL D 04/02/2009 04:05:56

Bravo for sharing this. My church has long since got rid of "Easter" celebrations and we praise God for the ressurection of Jesus. Not many churches want to give up their traditions and that's sad. Thanks for proclaiming this. AD

FRANCES K 04/02/2009 05:43:46

I learned this some time ago, but it's still news to a lot of people. I was actually surprised to see it here. It's a courageous statement to make, since it's a message so against the grain. It's also a message that more people need to hear, because there are so many references to this type of thing in scripture. What fellowship hath Christ and Belial? Fran

DIANE P 04/02/2009 06:45:30

I can't believe someone finally agrees with me!!! Christians constantly try to incorporate the things of the world to make the world comfortable in their midst. We are "in" the world not "of" the world. A thousand thank yous for making a stand. I will be printing this article off & passing it around our church. Diane

JUDITH L 04/02/2009 07:13:46

Thank you. This is just what I needed for my children to understand. Judy

PATRICIA T 04/02/2009 07:30:47

I've never liked the traditions around easter w/colored eggs & bunnies nor the way it's always been so readily accepted within the church. But, its always been along the line of if I pretend there is an Easter Bunny or tooth fairy or Santa Claus... how are my child supposed to believe me about God when they find out all the others were lies? Yet.... I'm one who DID NOT know this information. Thank You.

OCTAVIA M 04/02/2009 08:50:44

Great article! But here's my question: If the Son of God died and was resurrected during the Passover week & He Himself observed Passover--why don't we? Especially with all the pagan practices associated with easter as mentioned in the article. How come we don't observe Passover which is mentioned all over the Bible (just look in the concordance)? Easter appears only 1x in the KJV and is well-known that it should have been correctly translated as Passover. Perhaps, we should consider observing the death and resurrection of the Son of God during Passover because He is after all the Lamb of God Who saves us from death.

JENNIFER C 04/02/2009 09:07:20

I totally agree with Octavia! Our family doesn't celebrate Easter anymore. The truth is, unfortunately, that Easter is entirely pagan. We celebrate Passover, and get so much more out of it than we ever did Easter. Thank you for sharing this article with us! I also agree with Patricia about telling our children about fictional characters being real, and then when they're old enough telling them the truth. This is exactly why we don't let our children believe in all of these characters, because we don't want them thinking that when we talk about the Lord, that they think He is fictional, too. Great advice!

SUZETTE H 04/02/2009 09:15:21

I agree with Patricia T. but it is very difficult for some people to go against the flow. We've never implied to our kids that Santa was real. We've always been honest with them about these fantasy givers. Like Patricia, I think an older child learns, "My parents said the tooth fairy was real, but that was just so I wouldn't feel bad about losing a tooth. They also said Santa was real, and I had concrete proof (presents & sat on his lap), but that wasn't real either. Same with the Easter Bunny. This 'God thing' they made me pray to must be just another 'feel-good fantasy'." Any parents out there considering this for the first time (or again), please don't feel that your child will "miss out" if they don't believe in Santa, etc. My kids (age 9 to 18) still get so excited at Christmastime. The youngest counts the days down -- w/out expectations of Santa. And they have the added benefit of knowing that we have never deliberately deceived them.

MARIAN O 04/02/2009 10:47:43

This information should be sent to every church and Christian radio station weeks before. Also, check out the other church traditions and practices! Lent, for instance, also has pagan roots. We need to be diligent and knowledgeable of ALL we do in the name of our faith and traditions! Thankyou for this article.

JEANNE S 04/02/2009 10:49:16

We've celebrated the Feasts of the Lord and found abundant blessings in these celebrations that always point to Messiah Y'shua (Jesus). When we first learned of the paganism associated with Easter, Christmas, Halloween, etc. etc. it was a shock. To love the MOST HIGH above all means putting aside those things we may be holding dear. Our Father gave us a way to worship Him in His Word through HIS Feasts and He even told us in Deut. 12:4 You must not worship the LORD your God in their way. It seems more and more people are being drawn to a closer relationship by celebrating the Appointed Feasts of Adonai. Celebrate HIS love!

KIM F 04/02/2009 10:51:51

Its about time someone stood up and called Easter PAGAN. I grew up with it and never knew. Lets teach our children that once you have identified a wrong teaching, to repent (turn from it) and live in TRUTH. Our American culture is full of these pagen items, that seeminly are harmless. BUT, lets not ask, "Is there any harm in it?", but rather "Is there any glory for God in it?" Kim F. Ontario, CA

VICTORIA F 04/02/2009 20:11:27

Yes! I agree with most of the comments. And yes there is harm in peagan worship, it says so in the ten commandments " no other gods ". There is a book called " Too Long In The Sun " it has some very good info. about who, what, when, and where alot of the holidays have come about. It is a very good read. www.toolong.com. Religion is hard for me, and the book is written by a professor, everything in it can be verified by just some simple research done at home. Here's to getting it right. Happy learning Victoria

SHERI J 04/04/2009 13:40:59

Sheri J Yes! Yes! Yes! Praise Yah! I agree with alot of the comments also !Especially the fact that easter, christmas holloween, st patricks day and valentines day are so blantantly profane and pagan, so refreshing to see the truth being stated here, both by Alpha and Omega and the people who write in. Yes, He who has called us, called us out of the world and their pagan ways, to no more take part in mixing the holy with the profane, but to be set apart and separate, raising our children in the way that they should go! We also have made the change, by the Fathers direction to celebrating the Feasts and keeping the 7th day Sabbath. There is great blessing in being obedient to the Most High, and the feasts and the Sabbath are joyous times of celebration. Instead of feeling deprived of those pagan things my kids feel like "WOW! we are getting alot more!!" As parents we know that we too, are being doubly blessed for keeping the words of the Most High and of our Savior Messiah Yeshua (Jesus). So all of you who have been waiting for the "end time move of God" or the "revival" this is it! Turn back to God and He will turn back to you, seek and you will find, knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you. Ask of the God who gives freely and he will give you wisdom, truth and knowledge. These are the days of Elijah turning the hearts of the children back to their Father. Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the torah shall go forth from Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. Celebrate in spirit and in truth!

ALYSSA H 04/08/2009 10:56:10

I only celebrate with The Lamb. I have always made a point to let my children know the holiday was about the sacrifice and not candy, eggs and bunnies. I also have a basket in my home, but it holds cross-containers. Each ontainer holds the bible verses and small tokens that represent the 12 days of Christ....leading from the day he rode into Jerusalem on the donkey to the resurection. If they know as a child the reason for Lent and Holy Week, they will cherish their religion and not some bogus activities!

PATTI C 04/15/2009 04:33:10

Love Alyssa's post! Thank you! Year, by year the anxiety comes to me with these holidays. I need to plan way ahead so as to not get flooded by the world's plans and incorporate a plan to honor God and what he did and does for us. Every year some family and friends ask the children about Santa, the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy. We never lie to our children about ~anything~. There is no time or place to lie to them. God will take care of the issue on hand, our job is to be faithful. They knew from the earliest age that mom, dad and family give them gifts at Christmas out of love and we give to others out of love to celebrate that God loved us by sending us the gift of His Son Jesus so we can have eternal life. We are flooded/smothered during these times and to plan ahead is our best defence. Anyone with ideas to keep the Lord the focus, please share! Thank you AOP for printing this and many other articles that some churches or Christians would never dream of in case they would ~offend. May God bless you and your ministry.

RACHEAL B 07/29/2009 15:49:31

i was just reading about easter, santa, toothfairy,etc. aaahhhh! thank you,Jesus. i have been the "odd man out" in my husband's family for years because i felt like all these went against my belief in Christ. unfortunately, i gave in to the constant traditions( gritting my teeth) on every holiday. i have never lied to my children that santa, easter bunny, toothfairy, leprechauns,etc. are real. i tried to use real people(St. Nicholaus, St. Patrick,etc.) who are all honorable to explain how they helped Jesus on that occasion, never giving them the credit but Christ for using them. now my children know what IS real and are not confused during the holidays or what family or friends give them or what is said from other kids. i thank God for the idea- it always put Him first. oh! if you think easter is pagan check out the origin of halloween.... it'll make you cringe.

OKSANA G 04/04/2012 08:23:27

I frankly don\'t understand what is this downpour all about. If we call bunnies and candy an Ester celebration then of course it has nothing to do with our Lord. But most Christian, I believe, celebrate Resurrection. It just happens to have the name EASTER in English because the month in which it was celebrated was named after a pagan goddess. An so are days of the week - check their origin! Do we object to Sunday because it\'s sun\'s day? Can\'t vouch for other languages but in Russain Sunday sounds like \"Resurrection\" day and Easter as \"Passover\". Does it change what we celebrate? Whatever names are the holiday, when properly celebrated, has its roots in our Lord\'s resurrection and has been celebrated since apostolic times. In my humble opinion it would be wise to continue or create traditions that draw us closer to Him and make this day special. Digging up all that pagan stuff is not helpful. I don\'t see why I can\'t use an evergreen tree as a symbol of everlasting life just because pagans used it for their purposes, especially that it is irrelevant right now. Missionaries used clover and passion flower to teach natives about Trinity and Jesus\' suffering even though there\'s no mention of these plants in the Bible. Bottom line - be free to use things in God\'s creation to point to HIm, don\'t be slaves to what pagans did bit also be wise.I would say it about other celebrations and traditions but don\'t want to ramble too much.

RAVYN W 04/05/2012 04:39:04

Although I applaud the writer\'s rights to expound on their Christian beliefs, there are actually a few inconsistencies in this article that I feel I must address. Although the writer may be correct in part, as a whole, this article is a plethora of misinformation. Easter may derive its name from Eostre,as explained above, but there is much more to that than quoted. OSTARA or EOSTRE, is a pagan holy day, celebrating the first day of spring (on or around March 21/22.) It has been incorporated into mainstream religion as Easter. Complete with a fertile rabbit laying eggs, and sowing early seeds. If you\'d like to be more informed on Ostara, and how it is celebrated for those not Christian, please feel free to go here -- http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/ostarathespringequinox/p/Ostara_History.htm ..... it is a pretty interesting read. and Please don\'t flame me for posting this here. I\'ve no interest in debating religion with you, just wanted to point out that the author of this article could\'ve done their research a bit more completely before Pagan Bashing.

ALLISON W 04/05/2012 08:34:43

LOVE IT! Thanks so much for going against the \"modern Christian movement\" and stating the facts.

JENNIFER O 04/05/2012 11:58:33

yes! Christ became our PASSOVER! Not our \'Easter\'. 1 Cor 5:7,8. To replace Christ with a rabbit, eggs, etc...I am sure makes Satan laugh. I am so thankful to our Father for leading me to the truth. Teach your children the truth. They CAN handle it!....and Father will bless you for it!

LINDA H 04/05/2012 13:35:43

\"But that\'s not what it means to me!\" Our family was saying that for all of our lives, until this last year when God pointed out His greater Truth. We are not to mix the holy with the profane. We are to worship Him the way He has told us to.....For some reason, we agreed with our pastors all these years that we could take some pagan holiday and \'redeem\' it. I don\'t know if any of those pastors read the front of the book, because God says we cannot. He even forbids \'cutting down a tree and decorating it with silver and gold\'. Sound familiar? We were shocked, and repented. We love celebrating the Feasts of the LORD (not of the Jews) and rehearsing His second coming! Thank You AOP for posting this! And Happy Passover everyone. Oh, check out passionfortruth.com and watch \'Truth or Tradition\' (although our family doesn\'t agree with everything at Passion for Truth, his teaching on Truth or Tradition is spot on. This has changed our lives for the good!!

KAREN S 04/05/2012 13:39:13

This is from celebratingholidays.com, a Christian website: Interestingly, the beginning of spring, or the vernal equinox, had long been celebrated as the season of new life, or the rebirth of the earth. Though the eighth century English monk and scholar, The Venerable Bede, claimed that the word Easter was derived from the Anglo-Saxon name of a Teutonic goddess of spring, Eostre, there is evidence to suggest that the Anglo-Saxon name for April, Eosturmonath, more likely meant the month of opening, the season when the buds open (a time that Christians can reflect on the tomb that opened!). For an intriguing article by Dr. Anthony McRoy on this subject, see Was Easter Borrowed From a Pagan Holiday? www.christianitytoday.com/ch/bytopic/holidays/easterborrowedholiday.html?start=1 It should be noted that the name for Easter in most languages clearly derives from either the Latin word for Passsover (Pascha) or the Hebrew word (Pesach): Pascua in Spanish, Pasqua in Italian, Pasg in Welsh, Pasen in Dutch, etc.; English is an exception. If we choose not to celebrate certain aspects of holidays, we should not succumb to easily accepted notions about origins. Let\'s stick to the reasons of \"I want to focus on Christ\" or \"I don\'t want my kids to get the wrong idea about Easter\" instead of treading the waters of errant mythology.

AUDREA A 04/05/2012 16:05:19

Very interesting article. I think no matter how a person can turn anything they can make it pagan. We as Christians must follow our heart on these matters. It is up to every parent to chose how to explain this to thier young ones in how they feel will please the Lord. Grant it that the bunny and eggs may have ties or association to pagan rituals, it how we as christians can use it. just like any great character building story can use animals or symbols to teach a valued chrisitan lesson, we can use the bunny and eggs also in this manner and reject all pagan ties to it. In our home this is how we use the bunny and santa clause, to teach valuable chrisitan lessons to our children.

JENNIFER F 04/05/2012 17:36:18

This is a wonderful introduction to get the discussion rolling and I am super excited to see the truth printed here in light of the upcoming weekend. If nothing else, this will get some families asking questions! I\'m with Linda H., though. This article stops short of explaining that \"Resurrection Day\" is simply \"Christian-ese\" for the same ole sun/moon/tammuz thing. Passover is definitely where our heart focus needs to be this weekend. Praise God for this discussion today!!! Maybe some hearts are hearing right now. . .

APRIL L 04/05/2012 18:34:11

Very excited to see truth abound!

CORY B 04/05/2012 18:56:40

Thanks for taking a stand for the truth! Why be a Christian if you don\'t want to follow Christ? Christ did not celebrate any holidays that had any Pagan or otherwise \'false God\' influences and neither will I. As one of Jehovah\'s Witnesses I don\'t celebrate Easter or most other secular/Pagan influenced holidays for that matter. My family and I actually just returned from the one \'celebration\' that Jesus Christ instructed us to observe : Passover/The Last Supper. It is a personal decision each has to make for themselves and I respect that choice. However, It\'s important to know the truth about these holidays so we can make informed decisions. It will ultimately affect our lives.

AMY R 04/06/2012 06:26:15

Thank you for posting the truth boldly. I have been persecuted by other Christians for years about this. Never before have I seen anyone take a stand on this in mainstream Christianity. I\'ve only seen this in the Messianic congregations. We don\'t have one of those any where near us so we stand alone celebrating Passover. Thank you and God bless you Alpha Omega!

CORY B 04/06/2012 07:56:42

Amy, please feel free to celebrate with us next year if you like! There are Christian Congregations of Jehovah\'s Witnesses just about everywhere (they are small though - about 100 persons average) so you may need to look in the phone book. Or you can just wait till one of us knocks on your door in the ministry...haha!! Take care!

MY J 04/06/2012 14:17:37

Wow, cudos to AOP. No frilly colors, no colored eggs, and no paganistic rituals. Roman Catholicism holidays: easter, christmas, ash wednesday, halloween etc... The feasts of the LORD: Sabbath, Passover, Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Day of Atonement, Feast of Trumpets and Feast of Tabernacle, (Lev 23, Deut 16). The Lord rested on sabbath, was our passover lamb, send his holy spirit to us on the day of pentecost & is returning to tabernacle with His people. The feasts are is His timetable and the holidays are distractions.

JIM K 04/07/2012 13:22:41

I am new to AOL, but I am so pleased to see this stand for truth. We are a part of an independant church(might as well be Baptist, as far as doctrine is concerned). That said, we have felt God calling our family, alone, to begin to keep the feast. And so, we are beginning to do so, and as we learn and grow in this new endeavor, God opens himself to us in so many incredible ways. We had the opportunity of celebrating Passover with our whole church a few years ago to teach them what it was about, and what the symbolism stood for. While we enjoyed doing this, our true joy has been celebrating Passover in our home, maybe inviting another family to spend the evening with us. Passover was an intimate feast for our Lord, and I believe it is most glorifying to him when we retain this. Actually going through how the Isrealites stained their doorways with blood, and then stopping to look your children in the eye, and tenderly explaining that God\'s wrath will passover them as well if the blood of Jesus has been applied to the lentils of their hearts...and then letting the children stay up late as we read the account of the last plague and hear the wind whistle through the trees....in wonderment of his return and his grace. I am sure that our Passover would not stand up to religious scrutiny, I am sure we do not do the rituals correctly, and maybe not even in order :/ sometimes. We are not into rituals and religion, but relationship :). But I can tell you this...what a wonderous evening. Easter Sunday is no substitute for the richness we have missed in celebrating Passover. Don\'t feel like you have to go somewhere and learn all the correct ins and outs of Passover. God will place what you need to glorify him in your path when you seek Him! Keep your eyes open, and enjoy the Feasts of the Lord! BTW, we will still go to church tomorrow (Sunday) :) We have been filled to overflowing, and desire to share His love with those who seek Him. What a great place to find those seeking him. It is our mission field.

JUDY S 04/07/2012 23:11:38

We can debate issues forever. The bottom line is...if you claim to be a follower of Jesus, the Christ, then you must subscribe to what he taught. He taught he was sent from the Father and here to do the Father\'s will (John 4:34). He said the Father is looking for true worshipers (John 4:24) and they must worship Him in spirit and truth. He then proceeded to explain what that meant. If we learn that we have been doing something false, or practicing a form of false worship (which is a trigger point for the Father), then once our eyes are opened, we must stop doing it. It\'s very simple. Jesus told his followers to keep celebrating the Passover evening meal (Luke 22:19) in rembrance of him and what he was doing. So, we do it. He did not mention celebrating his resurrection, curiously. It was never right to incorporate pagan-origin traditions and celebrations with true worship, no matter which religeous leader said it was ok. The Father and Jesus said it wasn\'t acceptable. So, let\'s be obedient and joyous...and bold in doing what pleases the Father and His faithful Son. He\'s watching!!! What a beautiful witness you all have left here! I have loved reading all these posts. It pleases me so-o-o much to see your love for our God. Hallelujah!

DAWN P 04/10/2012 09:56:21

A BIG HUGE THANK YOU FOR TRUTH!!!!!!!! Glory and Honor and Praise belongs to and should be resevered for the ONE who gave so much... His ALL. Could we begin to throw away all that competes for HIS glory? The Messiah, all by Himself is enough. What He has done is beautiful beyond compare. What more do we need to add to the beauty of the RESSURECTION OF MESSIAH? When we sing \"You are more than enough for me\" what is it that we mean if these pagan rituals must be included in our celebration? He really is enough. When I watch the Passion of the Christ and see what it must have been like... these silly traditions of man do not seem harmless to me, but an insult to all that He paid on my behalf. He is The Worthy Savior, let ALL GLORY, HONOR, AND PRAISE be due MESSIAH ALONE.

Want more information?


We're available right now!

Call 1-800-622-3070

CHAT NOW Schedule a CALL BACK Free GETTING STARTED GUIDE Email us a MESSAGE