Friday, April 22, 2011


CHOCOLATE EGGS MARKET - Easter is the oldest and most important Christian festival, marking the end of the fasting season of Lent and the death, on Good (derived from God’s) Friday and resurrection of Jesus Christ, on Easter Sunday.  It has deeper and more complex associations than Christmas, particularly in the Orthodox Christian world.  There are many customs and traditions associated with Easter which, like most other holiday and feast days, are derived from a combination of both Jewish lore and pre-Christian and pagan practices.  It is named after Eostre, the goddess of fertility and birth, worshipped by first-century pagans at the vernal equinox, who believed she would bless both their families and their crops.  Christian missionaries saw this celebration took place around the time of the resurrection of Christ, so they adopted Easter as a Christian holiday to increase conversion.  The Easter chocolate bunny or rabbit is a much more recent idea.

Eggs, of course, are ancient symbols of fertility, for very obvious reasons, while the Seder meal incorporates a hard boiled egg as a symbol of new life.  The ancient Persians also painted eggs for Nowrooz, their New Year celebration falling on the spring equinox.  An egg has also been seen to be associated with the rebirth or resurrection of Christ.  The custom of eating them also derives from the fact that they were forbidden during Lent.  There are a great many rituals associated with eggs, mainly dating from Mediaeval times in Europe, usually involving decorating, throwing, rolling or hiding eggs for children to find them.

In the Judeo-Christian tradition, this week is one of the holiest times of the year. Christians commemorate the resurrection and sacrifice of Jesus Christ; Jews honor the Israelites' exodus to freedom from slavery.  Rooted in persecution, oblation, humility and eventual triumph, both religious holidays have an underlying common theme: no matter what the calamity, you will rise again to victory.  It is precisely this interpretation of those defining events that each and every one of us should take to heart during challenging times.  A happy Easter to all of our many Christian friends; and a happy Passover to our many Jewish friends!!

To be a heathen or pagan simply meant that one followed those religions that existed prior to Christianity, ... so paganism is simply a reference to following the old remnants of the Vedic Aryan culture. ... We can trace many more similarities between Christianity, Judaism, and other cultures.  ... the celebration for the resurrection of the Greek god Adonis is said to have taken place as late as 386 A.D. in Judea at the same time as the Easter observance of Jesus’ resurrection. And the use of dyed Easter eggs was widely known by such people as the Egyptians and Persians who made presents of them, and by the Jews who used them in the Passover feast. These are some of the non-Christian traditions that became incorporated into the Christian Easter holiday and are still practiced today.

Stephen Knapp (Śrīpad Nandanandana dasa) :
“Christianity and the Vedic Teachings Within It”  -

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