Sunday, March 27, 2016

ARTICLE | Easter and the Resurrection Sunday... A Closer Look at the Festivity

Happy Easter Sunday!
Or should I say, a meaningful Resurrection Sunday. :)

There are  contentions on the celebration of Easter. To most Roman and Orthodox Catholics, Easter is a feast that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. To other sects however, Easter is not a Christian celebration and was actually pagan in nature. Some of these Christian denominations that do not celebrate Easter are the Mormons (Seventh Day Adventist Christ) and Jehovah's Witness. To them, Easter was not mentioned in the Bible so it doesn't count as a Christian event.

It is interesting to note that Easter (as many scholars would agree) originated from paganism, specifically from the Babylonian Empire. During the reign of the empire, they worshipped the goddess of spring and fertility named "Eastre", "Oestre" also "Ostara" (in German). When the spread of Christianity started during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine, the pagan tradition was assimilated to Christian festivities in order to ease or entice the people to convert.

Of course the Church rejects this etymology asserting that "Easter" came from the mistranslation of the latin term "hebdomada alba" or white week, an ancient reference to Easter week and the white clothing donned by people who were baptized during that time. Through the translation error, the term later appeared as "esostarumin" in Old High German, which eventually became Easter in English. Whereas Easter was never mentioned in the Bible, and that the accurate term was actually Passover which coincides with the Sunday celebration. This also explains why in some Christian denominations, they use the term "Resurrection Sunday" instead of Easter.

The Easter bunny and eggs are all symbols of the goddess of spring and fertility (you don't seriously think that the bunny and eggs have anything to do with the death and resurrection do you?)

Nonetheless, hope that this whole Lent has become truly meaningful to everyone and that we have gone beyond the eggs, bunnies and even outings to travel destinations. After all, this whole season is all about reflecting on our lives and assessing the good and bad in ourselves. As what a good friend would say, "It's a matter of understanding the significance of the season, and not just passively following the lead of others."

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