Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter and It's Roman Equivalent

Many people know that the word "Easter" comes from the Anglo-Saxon Lunar goddess Eostre, who was said to mate with the solar god around the vernal equinox hence the references to those prolific bunnies and eggs. What you may not know is that the romans also had a vernal holiday involving a goddess-mother, Cybele, and her mate, Attis (taken from earlier Phrygian beliefs), who died and descended into the underworld to challenge the forces of death. In later years he came to be associated with the god Dionysus as well. Many of these customs were naturally based on the cycle of the seasons and the life-death-life cycle was representative of the crops, and so very dear to the cycle of people's lives. Christians and Pagans would eventually come to celebrate their very similar holidays around the same time of the year, and today much of the world has forgotten just how similar the stories are. Both traditions set the date for their celebrations around the first full moon after the vernal equinox.

No comments:

Post a Comment