Easter is Over ~*~ OR IS IT?

Now that Easter is over, I spent some time and found these very interesting and cute photos from Spiegel Online.  They represent traditions all across Germany — including some that are steeped in goddess worship.  Namely Eostre, the goddess of fertility.  Now why am I not surprised?

There are a number of pictures in this gallery, and here are a few of the histories behind the traditions. You’ll see that the bishops wrung their hands in light of these pagan ceremonies, but in some instances they threw up their hands and compromised.

Easter Eggs:

Because the use of eggs was forbidden during Lent, they were brought to the table on Easter Day, coloured red to symbolize the Easter joy. This custom is found not only in the Latin but also in the Oriental Churches.  The symbolic meaning of a new creation of mankind by Jesus risen from the dead was probably an invention of later times. The custom may have its origin in paganism, for a great many pagan customs, celebrating the return of spring, gravitated to Easter.

The egg is the emblem of the germinating life of early spring.  Easter eggs, the children are told, come from Rome with the bells which on Thursday go to Rome and return Saturday morning.  The sponsors in some countries give Easter eggs to their god-children.  Colored eggs are used by children at Easter in a sort of game which consists in testing the strength of the shells.  Both coloured and uncoloured eggs are used in some parts of the United States for this game, known as “egg-picking”.  Another practice is the “egg-rolling” by children on Easter Monday on the lawn of the White House in Washington.

The Easter Fire:

The Easter Fire is lit on the top of mountains (Easter mountain, Osterberg) and must be kindled from new fire, drawn from wood by friction; this is a custom of pagan origin in vogue all over Europe, signifying the victory of spring over winter.  The bishops issued severe edicts against the sacrilegious Easter fires, but did not succeed in abolishing them everywhere.  The Church adopted the observance into the Easter ceremonies, referring it to the fiery column in the desert and to the Resurrection of Christ; the new fire on Holy Saturday is drawn from flint, symbolizing the Resurrection of the Light of the World from the tomb closed by a stone.  In some places a figure was thrown into the Easter fire, symbolizing winter, but to the Christians on the Rhine, in Tyrol and Bohemia, it was used to symbolize Judas the traitor.

Women and Men:

Now this particular fait accompli was not in the gallery, but I really do wish I had known this before today.  On Easter Monday the women had a right to strike their husbands, on Tuesday the men struck their wives.  I sure hope she used a frying pan to accomplish her blow.  After all, if he was out cold for several days and missed Tuesday’s opportunity — well, all bets were off!    Husbands and wives did this “ut ostendant sese mutuo debere corrigere, ne illo tempore alter ab altero thori debitum exigat.”  I’m not really that intelligent and don’t know much Latin, but it looked interesting.

In the northern parts of England the men parade the streets on Easter Sunday and claim the privilege of lifting every woman three times from the ground, receiving in payment a kiss or a silver sixpence. The same is done by the women to the men on the next day.  Me thinks Anne of Boleyn would have needed a lot of help in lifting His Majesty Henry VIII.  She wasn’t built like a brick outhouse, and she certainly was not as strong as an ox!

Well anyway, they all secured their release with Easter eggs.  Now there’s a novel idea.  Anne gives Henry VIII an Easter egg and all is forgiven; ergo no beheading.  But, according to history all charges aginst her were trumped up, there was nothing to forgive, and Anne, the mother of Elizabeth I, has become one of the most mentioned of Henry VIII’s six wives.  Hmmm.

These customs are for all intents and purposes modef of pre-Christian origin.  I don’t recall any of this being part of the New Testament and any pastor pointing it out in a Catholic or Protestant church would have probably been tarred and feathered early Tuesday morning — that being the first non-Christian holy day.  Tarred and feathered — now there’s a custom I’ve always heard about, and wondered about its origin.  I also don’t recall any ancient Jewish rabbis pointing this out in the Torah — do you?

Here is the link to the absolutely adorable photos — Spiegel Online

Histerical and adulterated facts from http://www.newadvent.org

adulterated — To make impure by adding extraneous, improper, or inferior ingredients

Woo Hoo!  We’re through Lent, Easter is behind us, and we are home Scott free.  Well, maybe not. . .  After all, living the Christian life is not easy, and especially not if you just happen to be Catholic.

Courage Christians!

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