I once told someone Easter has nothing to do with Christ, and they looked at me like I had two heads. I will try to explain to you what I explained to them.
The Resurrection has to do with Christ. I always refer to “Easter” as Resurrection Day and not “Easter” and this is why. Resurrection Day celebrates the death on a cross and resurrection of Jesus and has links to the Jewish Passover, most people, including Christians, unknowingly celebrate its pagan influences, including the bunny, a symbol of fertility, and colored eggs, representing the sunlight of spring
The word Easter comes from a pagan festival celebrated in Rome which paid homage to the pagan goddess Oestarte. In the 8th century, Christian scholar Bede claimed in his book, De temporum ratione, (The Reckoning of Time) that Easter derived from the Saxon word Eostre (a.k.a. Eastre). The ancient Saxons in Northern Europe worshiped the Goddess Oestre at the time of the Spring Equinox. The Goddess Easter represents the sunrise, spring-time and fertility, the renewal of life. That is why its symbol was the egg, and bunny rabbits. Pagan Anglo-Saxons made offerings of colored eggs to her at the Vernal Equinox. They placed them at graves especially, in hope of rebirth. (Egyptians and Greeks were also known to place eggs at gravesites). I don’t know about you but this sounds morbid to me.
Have you ever wondered why “Easter” moves around the calendar when Jesus died and rose on a specific day? I mean why move the date around? This is why. The vernal equinox is explained here: The early Romans used a lunar calendar in which months alternated between 29 and 30 days. The calendar produced inaccuracies because it gradually fell out of step with the seasons. Julius Caesar reformed the calendar by switching its base from lunar to solar. The Romans established the day on which the vernal equinox occurred as March 25th.
The length of the year got fixed at 365 days, with an additional leap-year day added every fourth year. This made the average length of a year equal to 365.25 days, which came fairly close to the actual value of 365.2422 days.
The astronomical vernal equinox occurs when night and day appear nearly the same length at around March 21 and establishes the first day of spring (in the northern hemisphere). The moment the Sun crosses directly over the Earth's equator marks the vernal equinox (in the southern hemisphere, the moment equals the autumnal equinox).
Translated literally, vernal means "spring" and equinox means "equal night" because the sun sits above the equator and day & night appears equal in length. Are you starting to understand why Easter has nothing to do with Resurrection Day? Keep reading because this is where it really gets interesting. I am about to answer the question everyone reading this article is asking themselves. How did our Lord’s most sacred day; his resurrection day become Easter; the celebration of a pagan goddess?
Roman Emperor Constantine proclaimed to have had a “religious experience” when he converted to Christianity. He no longer persecuted the way, which is how Christianity was referred to at the time, but he was also a politician, and the Jews were still celebrating their Passover in their ritualistic manner, while the Pagan Romans not converted to Christianity liked celebrating their own pagan festivals. In 326 AD, Emperor Constantine wrote a letter making a decree that all celebrations should be on the same day. The following excerpt explains why.
From the Letter of the Emperor to all those not present at the Council. (Found in Eusebius, Vita Const., Lib. iii., 18-20.)
When the question relative to the sacred festival of Easter arose, it was universally thought that it would be convenient that all should keep the feast on one day; for what could be more beautiful and more desirable, than to see this festival, through which we receive the hope of immortality, celebrated by all with one accord, and in the same manner? It was declared to be particularly unworthy for this, the holiest of all festivals, to follow the custom [the calculation] of the Jews, who had soiled their hands with the most fearful of crimes, and whose minds were blinded. In rejecting their custom,(1) we may transmit to our descendants the legitimate mode of celebrating Easter, which we have observed from the time of the Savior’s Passion to the present day [according to the day of the week]. We ought not, therefore, to have anything in common with the Jews, for the Savior has shown us another way; our worship follows a more legitimate and more convenient course (the order of the days of the week); and consequently, in unanimously adopting this mode, we desire, dearest brethren, to separate ourselves from the detestable company of the Jews, for it is truly shameful for us to hear them boast that without their direction we could not keep this feast. How can they be in the right, they who, after the death of the Savior, have no longer been led by reason but by wild violence, as their delusion may urge them? They do not possess the truth in this Easter question; for, in their blindness and repugnance to all improvements, they frequently celebrate two Passovers in the same year. We could not imitate those who are openly in error. How, then, could we follow these Jews, who are most certainly blinded by error? To celebrate the Passover twice in one year is totally inadmissible. But even if this were not so, it would still be your duty not to tarnish your soul by communications with such wicked people [the Jews]. Besides, consider well, that in such an important matter, and on a subject of such great solemnity, there ought not to be any division. Our Savior has left us only one festal day of our redemption, that is to say, of his holy passion, and he desired [to establish] only one Catholic Church. Think, then, how unseemly it is, that on the same day some should be fasting whilst others are seated at a banquet; and that after Easter, some should be rejoicing at feasts, whilst others are still observing a strict fast. For this reason, a Divine Providence wills that this custom should be rectified and regulated in a uniform way; and everyone, I hope, will agree upon this point. As, on the one hand, it is our duty not to have anything in common with the murderers of our Lord; and as, on the other, the custom now followed by the Churches of the West, of the South, and of the North, and by some of those of the East, is the most acceptable, it has appeared good to all; and I have been guarantee for your consent, that you would accept it with joy, as it is followed at Rome, in Africa, in all Italy, Egypt, Spain, Gaul, Britain, Libya, in all Achaia, and in the dioceses of Asia, of Pontus, and Cilicia. You should consider not only that the numbers of churches in these provinces make a majority, but also that it is right to demand what our reason approves, and that we should have nothing in common with the Jews. To sum up in few words: By the unanimous judgment of all, it has been decided that the most holy festival of Easter should be everywhere celebrated on one and the same day, and it is not seemly that in so holy a thing there should be any division. As this is the state of the case, accept joyfully the divine favor, and this truly divine command; for all which takes place in assemblies of the bishops ought to be regarded as proceeding from the will of God. Make known to your brethren what has been decreed, keep this most holy day according to the prescribed mode; we can thus celebrate this holy Easter day at the same time, if it is granted me, as I desire, to unite myself with you; we can rejoice together, seeing that the divine power has made use of our instrumentality for destroying the evil designs of the devil, and thus causing faith, peace, and unity to flourish amongst us. May God graciously protect you, my beloved brethren.
With one decree Emperor Constantine grafted the most sacred Christian holiday onto a pagan festival holiday; and it has been that way ever since.
Catholic and Christian Biblical scholars point to the King James Bible where the word Easter is used instead of the word Passover to prove that Easter is the correct word to use. Not so fast. I have an explanation for this too.
In the Bible the word Easter is used only once while the same word everywhere else is translated Passover. The reason they used the word Easter instead of Passover is because the person who was being quoted in Acts 12:4 is a pagan king. The translators believed he would never have used the word Passover. He would have used the word Easter. This has wreaked havoc in the Christian world for centuries. The correct word was Pascha which is always translated from the Greek into English as Passover I encourage all people who are curious about this truth to be like the Bereans and don’t take my word on this; but research this for yourself. All you need to do is google the word Easter or look it up in the dictionary and you will be surprised to read about a history you probably never knew existed.
Christians should never use the pagan word Easter when referring to our Lord’s most sacred day. He is Risen! Happy Resurrection Day!