It was a term introduced in Southern Europe during late antiquity. It is a descriptor for other religions that existed at that time.
However, there is debate regarding the origins of this Paganism. The reason is, before the 20th century, no one gave an explanation or conducted an investigation into this paganism.
Pagan comes from the Latin word, namely paganus. The term began to be known in the Renaissance. Pagan means the area bounded by markers. So, this is also closely related to the country and the village. Later, paganus was extended by medieval writers as a religious term.
Now, paganism has turned into modern paganism which is known as neo-paganism. These are several religions that have been reconstructed with various modern traditions.
Before we get to paganism and Easter: exploring the rich tapestry of Spring celebrations, let's talk about the origins of Easter in paganism. Actually, Easter is a spring celebration for the Pagan people. In the past, the pagans lived their lives well and in harmony with nature. For pagans, the equinoxes and solstices were sacred times.
The solstice is a marker of how long and short the days of the year are. Meanwhile, the equinox is a symbol used by pagans to determine the balance between day and night. It is also used to determine the end of a season.
In the north, Easter is observed on the vernal equinox. In that season, winter ends, and naturally, begin to experience various new things. That is the reason why the pagans celebrate it.
Then, in the Middle Ages, Christianity became very popular in Rome. At that time, Rome was the center of the world. When Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity, he didn’t carry out the persecution that was done against Christians in 312.
However, he and the pagans did their culture or traditions even though they have become Christians. So, Emperor Constantine began to integrate pagan traditions with Christianity. So, it was imitated by all his people.
Finally, in 325 AD, the church councilor council of Nicea, decided that Easter should be celebrated every Sunday. That Sunday is the first full moon on the vernal equinox. That is what gave rise to the celebration of Easter Sunday. From there, the symbols of rebirth are also associated with the resurrection of Jesus.
According to the writings of St. Bede Venerable, a 6th-century writer, Easter comes from the English word that is Eostre. Eostre was the Pagan goddess of seasons and fertility. One of the most famous paganism in the world is Anglo-Saxon England. They worship Eostre which is symbolized by the rabbit and the egg.
So, the Anglo-Saxons held a festival every spring. Then, Christians imitated this tradition and made it an Easter celebration.
On the spring equinox celebrations performed by the pagans, they do the tradition of painting eggs with bright colors. Those colors reflect the flowers that bloom in spring. Meanwhile, the eggs are a symbol of the return of chickens that can lay eggs after the winter. The rabbit symbolizes fertility in spring.
So, actually, the Easter celebration in paganism is the same as the Easter celebration we know today. However, the pagans did not make this celebration a way to celebrate Jesus' resurrection, but to celebrate the beginning of spring and as their tribute to the god Eostre.
We also have more printable easter you may like:
Christian Easter Printable Mini Book
Printable Christian Easter Crafts
Printable Maps Of Eastern Europe
Even though it originates from Europe, Easter is also celebrated in other countries in the world. In America, Easter is a holiday moment that must be spent with fun traditions. Here are some countries in South America that celebrate unique Easter traditions.
There is one of the most crowded cities in Peru, namely Cusco. The people of Cusco hold a Semana Santa celebration that starts from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. So, they held the celebration for one week.
Not only dinner parties, Cusco residents also make agricultural fairs and equestrian performances. So, people who come to the celebration can buy all the agricultural goods there.
Brazil has a unique Easter celebration. Young people in Brazil make statues of Judas Iscariot using straw. The statue is decorated in a way that makes it very human-like.
Then, the statue was brought to a festival. At the festival, the youths beat and whipped the statue. Then, they placed the statue of Judas over a large bonfire.
Colombian people celebrate Easter with a large feast. However, the menus they eat are made of unusual ingredients. They eat food made from sea turtles, capybaras, and iguanas.
Parents in Paraguay spank their children during Easter Sunday. In this tradition, parents will punish their children for small mistakes made. In this tradition, they say the word "Pascuas." They hit the children slowly. So, it won't make the kids feel the pain.
Argentina also has an unique Easter tradition. They make a garden with the same vibe when Jesus was alive. So, you can visit the Tierra Santa Amusement Park in Argentina to see the history of the city of Jerusalem. You can also see a replication of the last supper and trial of Jesus in that garden.