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Folk Art & Culture Discussion of the various folk arts and crafts that elude the foregoing, more traditional categories.

The Easter Bunny

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Old Sunday, April 4th, 2010   #1
Renwein
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The Easter Bunny

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The Easter Bunny.

'Do rabbits lay eggs?'

When Easter approaches and symbols of chicks, eggs and rabbits abound, do you ever wonder what the rabbit has to do with Easter and why he is often depicted carrying a basket of eggs?

What is Easter?

History actually suggests that the Easter bunny was originally a hare. In pagan mythology, the hare represented love, growth and fertility. The hare and the egg were also the symbols of the spring and lunar goddess Eostre, from whose name it is generally believed that the word 'Easter' is derived.

In some ancient cultures, the hare was a symbol for the moon. Hares feed by night and have been observed staring at the moon when it is full. Their gestation period was also believed to be 28 days — the same as a lunar cycle. The lunar cycle, which represented the victory of life over death or spring over winter, was celebrated around the vernal equinox. That is why the date for Easter changes each year: it is based on the lunar cycle. The Council of Nicaea in 325AD decided Easter would fall on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox on 21 March.

So Why a Rabbit?

The rabbit has taken over from the hare, as it is far more common in many countries. Due to its reproductive proclivity, the rabbit is also regarded as a symbol of fertility. Eggs are also symbolic of new life and fertility, hence one of the reasons why the rabbit carries a basket of eggs. However, there are other myths that try to account for this.

And Eggs?

Neither hares nor rabbits lay eggs, but hares bring up their young in 'forms'. These forms are hollows in the ground, usually located in fields and meadows. Hares make more than one form so they can divide their offspring among them for safety. Plovers have been known to take over a form as a nest in which to lay their eggs. One legend relates that a woman saw a hare leaving a form and upon investigation, she found a 'nest of eggs', which she consequently believed to have been 'laid' by the hare.

According to another myth, Eostre's hare was a large, handsome bird which she one day magically changed into a hare. Because the hare was still a bird at heart, it continued to build a straw nest in which to lay its eggs.

A German legend states that according to custom, a poor woman hid some coloured eggs in a nest for her children to find. As the children approached the nest, a hare hopped away and they therefore believed that the hare had brought the eggs!

The 'bunny' as a symbol of Easter was first mentioned in German writings in the 16th Century and introduced to American folklore in the 18th Century. Children would build a nest using their caps and bonnets, and if they had behaved, would be rewarded with a nest of coloured eggs.

Although nowadays the real reasons for Easter have become masked in commercialism, it is interesting to delve deeper and become familiar with some of the ancient traditions behind the confectionery symbols presented to us in modern society.
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Old Sunday, April 4th, 2010   #2
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Easter is the Spring Equinox, the point when leaves grow on trees after "dying" in winter, flowers sprout again, birds lay their eggs and animals reproduce.

'Eostre' was a germanic goddess of fertility and the new dawn representing rebirth. Christians wrote and overlaid a similar story over Easter along the themes of rebirth and new life that Easter represents, but in their story the jew "Jesus" comes back to life instead of nature.
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Old Sunday, April 4th, 2010   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fortress Germania View Post
Easter is the Spring Equinox, the point when leaves grow on trees after "dying" in winter, flowers sprout again, birds lay their eggs and animals reproduce.

'Eostre' was a germanic goddess of fertility and the new dawn representing rebirth. Christians wrote and overlaid a similar story over Easter along the themes of rebirth and new life that Easter represents, but in their story "Jesus" comes back to life instead of nature.
I like how Germanic Heathenism is closer to nature than the Abrahamic religions.

Contrary to Germany and England, we in Scandinavia have "lost" the goddess of Spring. The name for Easter here is instead "Pĺsk" which is a Hebrew word, probably introduced by the Christians. I wonder why this didn't happen in other Germanic countries, anyway, it is good that it didn't.
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Old Sunday, April 4th, 2010   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Méldmir View Post
Contrary to Germany and England, we in Scandinavia have "lost" the goddess of Spring. The name for Easter here is instead "Pĺsk" which is a Hebrew word, probably introduced by the Christians. I wonder why this didn't happen in other Germanic countries, anyway, it is good that it didn't.
The same where I come from. The name for Easter is "Paşte".
I think it's important that the symbols remained, I mean the bunny, the eggs, and so on. I haven't studied yet on how things are in Scandinavia (I wish to do that soon), but where I come from it's a real cherished art to colour / decorate the eggs for this celebration of Spring. Though, the pre-Christian meanings were mixed with the Christian ones (the syncretism between the old 'religion' and the imposed one), but you can still dig and get close to the original meanings. There are lots of traditions and customs related to this time, most of them can be traced from ancient times. The problem is, as I just said, that some of their aspects and meanings were 'polished' to appeal to the Christian views.

I guess it's the same with most legends, which try to explain things, according to the way of thinking representative for the time the legend was invented. The customs themselves are usually beyond legends.

I read in a book, about Easter eggs, that they are well-spread in the Germanic world. There are very interesting decorative models shown in that book, and many of them represent various types of swastikas. Too bad I don't have it here with me, so I cannot show more proper details or examples.
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Old Sunday, April 4th, 2010   #5
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During this time of year the spots on the moon look like a hare carrying an egg. This might have been of influence. The Indians in South-America noticed this as well.

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Old Sunday, April 4th, 2010   #6
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The whole of apostate Christianity when looked at carefully can be seen to be a complete pagan religion with the label Christianity pasted on the top, none of which can be found in the Bible, indeed Jesus himself said he doesnt return unless the great apostacy comes first.

This is from my memory so please forgive any slight errors.

In Genesis, a One world government with a one world religion was formed but then destroyed by God, much modern pagan religion stems from this early religion.

The leader of this world government and religion was Nimrod said to be a mighty hunter in opposition to God, he was the son of Cush so was black.

His Mother was Semi-remis, she was deified as the fertility goddess known by various names including what we now call Easter, she was said to have come down from Heaven in the form of an egg which landed in the river Euprates.

Her son Nimrod killed his father and married his mother, he therefore became his own father, this is where the apostate Christian church gets its notion of the Trinity from, God the Father/God the Son, nowhere in the Bible does Jesus claim such.
Nimrod, or his son, was deified as the Sun God Tammuz, Semi-Remis, or Easter theerfore was "The Mother of God" the queen of heaven, this is where we get the Catholic penchant for Mary Mother of God worship from.

The birthday of the Sun is December 25th, Jesus was most likely born in October.

The cross is often seen with a circle behind it, this symbol can be seen in the British museum pre-dating Christ as it is actually a pagan sun worshipping symol, the circle being the sun, the cross being the sacred "T" of the sun god Tammuz, the Bible said Jesus was hung on a stake.

The Catholic church was started by a sun worshipper called Constantine who united all the pagan beliefs under the banner of Christianity to hold together the fragmenting Roman empire.
When you consider the firsat of the 10 commandments and all the other Biblical warnings about mixing pure worship with pagan worship, you can see all so called Christian religions are wasting thier time as they are plainly worhipping the same religion as in Nimrods day, that being Nimrod himself along with his Mother the fertility goddess Asterte.
The word Catholic actually means unity as in all the religions being united.

In the following picture you can see Mary the "Queen of Heaven", "Mother of God" the maddona holding a baby, if you look closly you can see the baby is the Sun, the Catholics dont even try to hide thier apostacy



In the following picture, not only can you see that the Pope is really a Jewish high priest, he wears a skull cap and an Ephod with 12 stones for the 12 tribes of Israel, but the cruxifix isnt even a cross, its blatently the "T" of the Sun God Tammuz.

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Old Monday, April 5th, 2010   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralf Rossa View Post
His Mother was Semi-remis, she was deified as the fertility goddess known by various names including what we now call Easter, she was said to have come down from Heaven in the form of an egg which landed in the river Euprates.
Hmmm... We were told in school that Virgin Mary was going to see her son, Jesus, with a basket full of eggs, and then she saw him being crucified. She went directly to him, put the basket under his cross, and started crying. The blood of Jesus flowed over the eggs and coloured them in red. That's why Christians paint the eggs in red when celebrating Jesus's revival.
This is just an example of a legend created to cover the pre-Christian traditions.

However, if it has any relevance, I'm talking from the perspective of the Orthodox Christianity. I do not know about the Catholics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralf Rossa View Post
The birthday of the Sun is December 25th, Jesus was most likely born in October.
I'm very curious, why do you think Jesus was most likely born in October? I've heard he was born most likely in April or other month of Spring (this would resemble very well the "Spring God" theory). I do not have any proofs, anyway, I don't care so much about it, but I'm curious about why you said so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralf Rossa View Post
The cross is often seen with a circle behind it, this symbol can be seen in the British museum pre-dating Christ as it is actually a pagan sun worshipping symol, the circle being the sun, the cross being the sacred "T" of the sun god Tammuz, the Bible said Jesus was hung on a stake.
I have a similar example:

Click image for larger version

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This is a pre-Christian symbol from Maramureş region of Romania.
What can I say about it, I am very sure its original meaning has almost nothing to do with the meaning people would consider nowadays, "thanks" to Christianity. No more comments needed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralf Rossa View Post
Interesting.

I've read more on the Isis & Horus / Mary & Jesus comparison:

Click image for larger version

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Perhaps a borrowing which occurred in the time of the Roman Empire, with so many cults there.

Anyway, I'm interested mostly in the pre-Christian customs and traditions that belong to the European space. The custom of Easter eggs is widely spread in Europe, like many other customs which originally have nothing to do with Christianity.
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Old Monday, April 5th, 2010   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Víđálfr View Post


I'm very curious, why do you think Jesus was most likely born in October? I've heard he was born most likely in April or other month of Spring (this would resemble very well the "Spring God" theory). I do not have any proofs, anyway, I don't care so much about it, but I'm curious about why you said so.

Jesus was baptised when he was 30 years old and was prophesied to have a 3 1/2 year ministry before he was sacrificied, if you go back a half year from Nissan 14 which occurs end of March beginning of April, you get October.

Most important things relating to God happen in October, its the Jewish New Year as it was the month of creation.

Jesus certainly wasnt born in December as its reported shepards where still in the fields with thier flocks, in December in Jerusalem, the shepards are in long before December as its too cold.
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Old Monday, April 5th, 2010   #9
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Where Did The Name "EASTER" come From ?
"Historians have traced the origin of the word Easter to the Scandinavian word 'Ostra' and the Germanic 'Ostern' or 'Eastre'.Both of these derive from the names of mythological goddesses of spring and fertility,for whom festivals were held at the time of Spring Equinox.

Easter was not only goddess of dawn but also goddess of spring with all its
fertility-symbols and fertility-rites....which included eggs and rabbits.

The term 'Easter' is not of Christian origin.It is another form of Astarte,one of the titles of the Chaldean (Babylonian) goddess....the pagan festival of
the apostate Western religion, as part of the attempt
to adapt pagan festivals to Christianity" was introduced into the apostate
western religion,as part of the attempt to adapt pagan festivals to Christianity.

Easter(English)
Eastre(Anglo-Saxon)
Ishtar(Babylonian)
Ashtaroth(Hebrew)
Astarte(Greek)

Easter Started in Babylon-
All Fertility goddesses were fashioned after Semiramis -The wife and mother of Nimrod.This incestuous relationship remained the pattern after which all
fertility worship was copied.
Similar goddesses were known by other names,in other cultures around the Mediterranean,such as Aphrodite from Cyprus, Astarte from Phoenicia,
Demeter from Mycenae,Hathor from Egypt, and Ishtar from Assyria (Babylon).All of these goddesses were celebrated in the spring.

Ishtar...an Assyrian name for Semiramus of Ancient Babylon.Does the name Ishtar sound like Easter?Well it should.It is the same.The celebration of Ishtar included coloring eggs,an ancient symbol of fertility.The ancients
even hid eggs for children to find.Rabbits, known for their prolific reproduction
also became part of their pagan celebration.

Click image for larger version

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This woodcut above was found in Ancient Babylon,where "Easter" has its roots-in the Fertility Rites of the very first Fertility goddess -Semiramis-
the mother and wife of Nimrod.

Modern symbols of Easter, such as the egg and the bunny,have their origins in paganism.Rabbits were the most potent symbol of fertility and the egg,
the start of all life,was often thought to have magical powers.

Easter Was Adopted by Christendom During Her Great Apostasy-
The Oxford English Dictionary, will supply the answer:Easter had a Pre-Christian origin,namely a festival in honour of Eostre, the Teutonic dawn-goddess.This Eostre was also known to be the spring goddess and the goddess of fertility.Eostre, also called Eastre,Eostra or Orstara,became fused
with Christianity.

Unlike Christianity which observed the "Memorial"of Jesus' death on Passover - Nisan 14 -the apostate Church adopted the pagan Springtime Resurrection
fashioned after the Babylonian Fertility goddess.
Christmas and Easter - These spurious, counterfeit holydays represent a
compromise with paganism,an attempt on the part of the church to convert
the heathen by meeting them halfway.We have learned that this deception
came into the Christian church by way of the open demon worship of the
ancient Babylonians.

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Old Sunday, April 16th, 2017   #10
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Eostre as a theonym might have been an invention of Bede, honestly. Though there is a PIE root relating to dawn, comp. Ausrine, Eos.

Christian imagery is based on that of earlier dying and rising gods, yes.
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