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The Pagan Origins of Easter

Alright, hold on to your bunny ears folks, because we're about to take a deep dive into the pagan history of Easter! And boy, do we have a story for you. We're going to focus on the festival of the goddess Ishtar, so buckle up and get ready for a wild ride.

First off, let's get one thing straight: Easter is not just about chocolate eggs and bunnies. No, sir, it's much more than that. Easter has its roots in pagan traditions, and one of the most prominent pagan figures associated with this holiday is the goddess Ishtar. Ishtar was the goddess of love, fertility, and war in the ancient Mesopotamian religion. Now, if that doesn't sound like a party, we don't know what does.


The easter bunny
Welcome traveler, care to sample my eggs?

Ishtar


The festival of Ishtar was celebrated around the time of the spring equinox, which falls around late March or early April. During this time, the people of Mesopotamia would engage in all sorts of wild and crazy festivities. They would paint eggs, decorate trees with colorful ribbons, and even participate in fertility rituals. And you thought your family's Easter egg hunt was intense!

One of the most interesting traditions associated with the festival of Ishtar was the “sacred marriage” between the goddess and her consort, Tammuz. This ritual involved the selection of a young man to serve as the “husband” of the goddess for a year. During this time, the man would live in the temple with Ishtar, where they would engage in all sorts of…ahem…intimate activities.


Pagan Elements in Modern Easter


Some traditions associated with Easter bear a striking resemblance to those of the festival of Ishtar. For example, the tradition of painting eggs has been around for centuries and is believed to have originated in ancient Persia. Even the Easter bunny has its roots in pagan traditions, as rabbits were often associated with fertility and new life.

But, of course, modern-day Easter has its own unique traditions as well. We've got chocolate eggs, marshmallow Peeps, and enough pastel-colored decorations to make your eyes water. Plus, we don't think anyone's participating in any sacred marriages these days (at least, not that we know of).



So, there you have it, folks: a brief overview of the pagan history of Easter. It just goes to show that no matter how much time passes, some traditions never truly die. And who knows, maybe one day we'll all be painting eggs and participating in fertility rituals again. It could happen.


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