Saturday, April 08, 2017

The War Against Easter

I suppose I should say something about all the made up furore surrounding Cadbury supposedly dropping the word 'Easter' fro its, er, Easter sales campaign, emphasising instead the fact that it was chocolate, rather than Easter, eggs which were to be hunted.  Which, bearing in mind that Cadbury are known as a chocolate manufacturer, shouldn't really be surprising.  But all the usual suspects shouted all the usual things about a 'War on Christianity'.  Including, of course, The Prime Minister, Theresa May, who never misses an opportunity to try and divert attention from her miserable performance as PM by trying to latch on to some 'populist' non-controversy.  Reminding us that she is a vicar's daughter, she waxed lyrical about the true Christian message of Easter and its significance as a Christian festival.  Except that it is all bollocks.  Easter, like Christmas, is actually a traditional pagan festival co-opted by the early Christians and refashioned into a nice, safe, Christian celebration.

Both the name Easter and the symbol of the egg are derived from the earlier pagan festival.  The name allegedly derives from that of a pagan Goddess and the egg is a symbol of rebirth and fertility, which is what the festival was originally about: the coming of Spring and the rebirth of the land.  From a Christian perspective, it isn't much of a leap to instead make the festival about the resurrection of Jesus.  The sheer nerve of Christians in protesting about the co-opting of festivals they hijacked from the pagans in the service of commerce or other secular concerns never ceases to amaze me.  They really are hypocrites.  Well, I say that, but I suspect tat it is more down to ignorance - many Christians I've spoken to about this issue seem blissfully ignorant as to the true origin of their main festivals.  Interestingly, some Christian sects, most notably the Jehovah's Witnesses, do recognise that Easter and Christmas are actually pagan festivals, which is why they don't celebrate them.  Of course, being a non-believer, I'm in the privileged position of thinking that they are all crazy and all miss the real point of Easter: with two bank holidays it gives us an officially sanctioned long weekend every Spring.

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