PAN Media Release
“The word is derived from ‘Eostre’, who was the Germanic goddess of the springtime,” PAN President David Garland said today. “Her festival celebrated the return of life and growth to the land with the passing of winter.”
According to Mr Garland, the early Christian church appropriated many myths and symbols from existing indigenous belief-systems in Europe. “The Easter Bunny was originally a hare, which represented fertility and sexuality,” he said. “The egg also represented birth and new beginnings, and Christian missionaries working their way through Europe wanted to link their message of death and resurrection with what was already familiar to the population.”
Easter was not the only festival appropriated from indigenous European religions by Christian missionaries. Others include the December 25th feast of the Roman god Sol Invictus, the Celtic festival of Samhain on October 31st (All Hallows Eve), and Beltane on May 1st (celebrated by the church as Roodmas).
PAN Inc President
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