Think I was put in my place

A friend was saying tonight he may not make it out to a gathering sunday since it’s palm sunday. I mentioned I always liked how the name Easter stemmed from Eostre and the old gods and how in Iceland they were making a temple to celebrate the return and worship of Woden and his mighty son Thor.
Whelp, he put me in my place, he said a lot of the people who are huge fans of that stuff like the viking metal as well as the poor hygene and tend to me uneducated.
He’s right, a good chunk of the pagans i’ve known over the years tended not to be too well educated, loved metal music (not a metal fan, stuff is tooo angry, like bob marley) and I love being clean shaven and smelling good too much.
I think Jesus just won more points with me. I like hygene, smelling nice and chill music too much and gregorian chants are quite nice.

That’s nice and all, but it doesn’t demonstrate that the solemnity of Easter proceeded from ‘Eostre’. It only shows that the word ‘Easter’, in English, has roots in these cultural contexts.

Easter, itself, proceeds from an event – and a solemnity – based far earlier than Norse mythology. In the original language(s) of the day, ‘Easter’ is called ‘Pascha’. The claim that ‘Easter’ proceeds from Norse legend is myopic and anachronistic… :shrug:

(Not that you’re saying that, explicitly, but just saying that the meme that Easter – the holiday – comes from ‘Eoster’ – the word – is inaccurate.)

That was what I was getting at. Yes I know easter goes farther back than that, but the spring and renewal part, easter eggs, chocolate and booze part was all I really ever ever cared about.

Ive known a number of wiccans, athiests, agnostics, and old god pagans and they all had good hygeine and were educated (at least a high school diploma) and their facial hair varied. And Ive known christians who had terrible hygiene. Point is pagans arent more predisposed to bad hygiene than christians. Anyone can be a filthy person no matter which god they worship.

And I dont see what having a beard has to do with anything. As long as they are maintained and washed beards are no more unclean than hair on top of the head.

Huh. Last I checked, I didn’t take a pagan oath to be smelly and stop reading and listen to only one small genre of music.

I wonder how many pagans you really know. Obviously, being one myself, I know more, and I wouldn’t dare paint with such a broad brush, any more than I would assume all Baptists are Southerners that love country-western music.

There’s going to be the stinky in every group–when I went through Army basic training, there was a gal there who pretty much never took a shower and smelled to high heaven (the drills remarked ‘there’s always one’.) Poor hygiene isn’t owned by one group.

Most of the pagans I know, and myself, wash on a regular basis. (Most of my friends know that I’m likely to be relaxing in the tub with a book most nights.) I know a lot of technicians, and a surprising number of nurses–I’m pretty sure they’re required to be ‘educated’. My official day job is in telecommunications, and the word ‘engineer’ is in my job title. We listen to all kinds of music. Myself, I’m rather fond of the music of the 70’s and 80’s (yes, I was a big Duran Duran fan back in the day.) I go to karaoke, and if I want to get the audience paying attention to me and giving me a big round of applause, I sing “Son of a Preacher Man” by Dusty Springfield. (Feel free to look her up, your statements make me wonder if you know who this very talented woman was.)

If your basing your religious choices off of “Am I allowed to take showers everyday?”, then I’d say you’ve missed the point of said religion entirely.

That’s the part that needs emphasis. English and German, I think, are the only languages with this Easter/Eostre thing going. Every other world language names the holiday by some word derived from the Jewish Passover feast (Pascha, Pesach, et cetera).

It olde germanic goddesses give you the heebie-jeebies, just swap out languages.


I’m a pagan too, and I do think there is a slightly higher percentage of pagan men with beards over Christian men with beards where I live. I’ve also noticed that among Hasidic Jewish men.

Other than that…seeing as the term “pagan” is the wastebasket term for several hundred if not thousand religions…it’s going to be pretty hard to find many common characteristics.

The whole Easter/Oester debate…English is a Germanic Language words evolve, devolve and come to cover many and often diverse things. Bark (part of a tree), bark (the sound a dog makes)

In most languages what we call Easter in English is called Pasch or some version of it.

I’m a pantheist, But some years my family has a Christmas tree, and we even call it a Christmas tree but we are not worshiping Christ, or any Germanic Pagan god, or Mithra. And I expect that Christians who do the colored egg, bunny thing aren’t showing homage to a godess of spring.

On the subject of who uses the term “pagan” to denote their religion. Many people who fall into the category “pagan” use the specific name of their faith or tradition. Meaning they HAVE a particular faith and tradition. With all the associated beliefs, rules, practices, and restrictions. I am not aware of any religions that are free for alls.

I won’t lie. Many people I’ve encountered who refer to themselves as generic “pagan”, do seem to have picked up that term as an excuse for irresponsible behavior. And when asked what they believe…they usually say freedom to do whatever they please with no one “judging” them. A sort of forever rebellious teen thing, under the guise of “religion”.

I dig men with beards, but sadly they are less common among Pantheists than some other religions. :wink:

POE’S Law - without a clear indicator of an author’s intended sarcasm it becomes impossible to tell the difference between an expression of sincere extremism and a parody of extremism

What an incredibly shallow analysis, were we to dignify it by taking it sincerely.

Personally, I question your sincerity–as if we place such a high premium an such a shallow analysis of human beings, as measuring the man based on their outward appearance, taking nothing into account of individual circumstances.

Perhaps there has evolved a small but rather visible element within the greater Christendom, where slicked back hair, fancy suit, a shiny smile, and a blond trophy wife (cough–Joel Osteen–cough) has been paraded as the Christian ideal–the televangelist ethic, if you will… But that is not genuine Christianity, and it is most definitely not Catholicism, and this is of course, a Catholic website. Good and proper hygiene, and education, are certainly virtues–but as a matter of civilization, society, and health–not character * per se*, and certainly not of faith, other than potentially serving as outward manifestations of preference, under favorable circumstances.

E.g.–Mother Theresa didn’t judge folks based on their hygiene or education; certainly Christ, who’s example she followed so faithfully (and whom we are called to follow), didn’t either.

It should also be mentioned that the Church uses the term Paschal for that season that Martin Luther called Easter. In fact, Martin Luther was the one who associated the term Easter with the Paschal season.

but the spring and renewal part, easter eggs, chocolate and booze part was all I really ever ever cared about.

I ask you to research where “easter eggs” come from. Many will say that they are a Pagan Tradition, however, there is no historicity to this. Pagan ephathizers even make up some non-historical stories about god/goddesses to try and explain this (IE A bunny who laid eggs because it was a bird tuned into a rabbit by a goddess). Honest Pagans though, know better and from what I have seen, resent the ignorant Pagan who perpetuate stories like this.

The Easter Bunny wasn’t even written about until the 19th Century.

It is, however, a fact that early Christians as far back as the 3rd Century, painted eggs red during the Paschal season, to represent the blood of Christ. Eggs have always played a big role, especially since for a long time, Christians weren’t allowed to eat eggs during Lent. People would boil their eggs during Lent to keep them good and then eat them at Easter time. The excess of eggs led to games and all sorts of things.

Alcohol and treats have been used to celebrate holidays in every culture for forever and can not be attributed to Pagans.

To elaborate on this point:

In the Hebrew, Passover is Pesach. The Greek form is simply a transliteration8 and takes the form Pascha. Virtually all languages refer to Easter as either a transliterated form of pascha or use resurrection in the name. English and German stand apart in their use of Easter (Ostern) to refer to the celebration of the Resurrection.

Form of pascha Resurrection Day/Feast Great Day/Night
Bulgarian—Paskha Serbian—Uskrs or Vaskrs Slovak—Veľká Noc
Dutch—Pasen Chinese—Fùhuó Jié Ukrainian—Velykden
Italian—Pasqua Korean—Buhwalchol Polish—Wielkanoc
Finnish—Pääsiäinen Vietnamese—Lễ Phục Sinh

We should also consider the early translations by German and English scholars in this examination. John Wycliffe was the earliest translator to publish a complete New Testament in English (1382), though he did his translation from the Latin Vulgate. Wycliffe transliterated the word pascha to pask, rather than translating it.** When Martin Luther translated the Bible into German (New Testament in 1522), he chose the word Oster** to refer to the Passover references before and after the Resurrection.

William Tyndale translated the Bible into English from the Greek and Hebrew. His New Testament (1525) uses the word ester to refer to the Passover. In fact, we owe our English word Passover to Tyndale. When translating the Old Testament (1530), he coined the term to describe how the Lord would “pass over” the houses marked with the blood of the lamb (Exodus 12). The usage of ester was retained in the 1534 revision of the New Testament, and it was not until later that it was known as Easter, adding the a. Luther and Tyndale were the first to use a translation of pascha rather than a transliteration.9

The following are comparisons of the early translations by Wycliffe, Luther, Tyndale, and the translators of the 1611 King James Version (KJV), demonstrating the handling of pascha.

Luke 2:41—This passage refers to a Passover festival before the Resurrection, using pascha (πάσχα).

Wycliffe—And his fadir and modir wenten ech yeer in to Jerusalem, in the solempne dai of pask.

Luther—Und seine Eltern gingen alle Jahre gen Jerusalem auf das Osterfest.

Tyndale—And his father and mother went to Hierusalem every yeare at the feeste of ester.

KJV—Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.


I have to make a correction to my previous statement and it would appear that I went past the timed limit to do so - The Hare that Brought Easter Eggs is not seen as a tradition in written language until the 17th Century. And our Idea of the Easter Bunny (Peter Conttontail) Came to life in 1910.
Just like our modern idea of Santa Claus is way different than Saint Nicholas day (Traditionally celebrated on Dec 6th) and SinterClaus celbrated in Norway… Father Christmas Christkindle and Sinterclaus, met, mingled and had a love child named Santa Claus. The modern day Santa Claus in North America has even developed since the 1820s version (first introducing the 8 reindeer) was written by Clement Moore in “A visit from St. Nicholas” now known as “Twas the night before Christmas”

Hey, don’t blame poor ol’ Luther. :smiley:

In olden time the English people – for it did not seem fitting to me that I should speak of other people’s observance of the year and yet be silent about my own nation’s – calculated their months according to the course of the moon. Hence, after the manner of the Greeks and the Romans (the months) take their name from the Moon, for the Moon is called mona and the month monath.

The first month, which the Latins call January, is Giuli; February is called Solmonath; March Hrethmonath; April, Eosturmonath; May, Thrimilchi; June, Litha; July, also Litha; August, Weodmonath; September, Halegmonath; October, Winterfilleth; November, Blodmonath; December, Giuli, the same name by which January is called. …]

Nor is it irrelevant if we take the time to translate the names of the other months. … Hrethmonath is named for their goddess Hretha, to whom they sacrificed at this time. Eosturmonath has a name which is now translated “Paschal month” (Paschalis mensis), and which was once called after a goddess of theirs named Eostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated in that month. Now they designate that Paschal season by her name, calling the joys of the new rite by the time-honoured name of the old observance. Thrimilchi was so called because in that month the cattle were milked three times a day…

  • Venerable Bede, De temporum ratione (AD 725)

Both English Easter and standard German Ostern are thought to ultimately from a Proto-Germanic word, *Austrǭ ‘dawn’. This word itself is a descendant of the Proto-Indo-European words for ‘dawn’ or ‘to shine’ (modern English east also derives from this root). *Austrō thus seems to be a Germanic goddess of dawn, herself ultimately coming from the Proto-Indo-European Hausos, the personification of the dawn as a young woman.

Specifically speaking, English Easter is descended from *Austrǭ by way of Old English/Anglo-Saxon ēastre or ēostre (specifically, the term Ēosturmōnath/Ēastermōnath ‘Ēostre’s Month’)), while Ostern is its descendant via Old High German ōstara (Ôstarmânoth). It happened that both the Anglo-Saxons and the High Germans shared the same name for the month of April: ‘Ēostre’s/Ôstar’s Month’. And because Easter oftentimes fell during April, the same month when these tribes originally held feasts in honor of Ēostre’s/Ôstar before they became Christians, they applied the name to the feastday as well. (Bede in the 8th century seems to imply that the cult of Ēostre was already dead among the Anglo-Saxons in his time.)

(To be specific, the Old English for Easter is not the singular feminine noun Ēastre, but instead the plural Ēastrun/Ēastron/Ēastran, or the neuter plural Ēastru/Ēastro.)

Here’s the interesting thing. Some of the westernmost Slavs who were in contact with the Germanic tribes adopted the Germanic name, with the result that Easter is called Jastrë in Kashubian (a sister language to Polish spoken by a minority in Polish Pomerania), jutry in Upper Sorbian, and jatšy in Lower Sorbian (the Sorbs are a Slavic minority in eastern Germany) - all related to Ēastre and Ôstara.

Excellent, thanks.

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