Silly posts about the origins of the word "Easter"

This time of year we often see social media posts about how Easter is derived from the name of an ancient Mesopotamian goddess. The more militant atheists are fond of posting such things. Well, they’re wrong.

Easter not derived from name of ancient Mesopotamian goddess


Thanks… I remember seeing that meme somewhere, but never got around to looking it up. Not that a name needs to dictate how a holiday is celebrated today, but it’s good to check up on claims like this.


I mention it because militant atheists like to float this idea around.

On the other hand, the mistaken idea that we got the date for Christmas in the West (Dec 25) from a pagan holiday (the Saturnalia) is far more pervasive and not just promulgated by non-believers. I believed it at one time. But then in a theology class, we learned the truth about where the date really comes from. (Of course, George had to challenge me on it.)

1 Like

I dont know the answer for that and youve grew my curriosity!!If you can answer or provide links from when we got the date i would be so glad!!Ive also heard this before and didnt know how to respond.Happy Easter!!

Sure. This is something I wrote some years earlier:

There is no textual evidence that the date for the birth of Jesus was co-opted from a pagan holiday, although that is a widely-held belief. So how did we get the date of Dec 25? : the Church first established the Feast of the Annunciation/Conception of Jesus as March 25. When the Church became interested in setting a date for the birth of Jesus, they counted forward 9 months.
(Learned about this in our theology of Christmas class.)

If anyone disagrees, he should cite textual evidence from a scholarly source. Wikipedia verses won’t cut it.

1 Like

As a fellow fact checker, I am very grateful for you sharing this! Thank you.

1 Like

Interesting!!! We have Ultra Orthodox here who celebrate it on 2 months or weeks dont remember later than us .They proffess they are going with the “old calendar”.I know that the Christmas date is the same for all ie protestants,orthodox and catholics.Thanks for the answer!!! Our Easter or as we call it Pascha(from the Jewish word pesah) is on May this year(its always 1 motnh apart i think).For some reason we have a different date than the West.I dont know which is the more earlier “tradition” i guess so i ll have to look for it. Thanks a lot for the answer again!!!Take care!!

1 Like

So when did the pagan Germanic Eostre segue in on the Paschal act with her bunnies and eggs?

And what’s wrong with Wikipedia again? ‘The first recorded Christmas celebration was in Rome on December 25, AD 336.’

  1. “Christmas and its cycle”. New Catholic Encyclopedia . (2nd ed.). Catholic University of America Press. 2002. pp. 550–557.
  2. "The Chronography of 354 AD. Part 12: Commemorations of the Martyrs. MGH Chronica Minora I (1892), pp.71–72.

Wikipedia is not the best source of information. The quality of the articles varies widely, and anybody can write/edit them. Sometimes Wikipedia itself will point out the problems with their own articles.

However, one of our librarians said that Wikipedia’s references listed after each article are often good.

Wikipedia is the best initial source bar none. It is fully open on the quality of its content and yes, even I am an editor. I’ve never had an edit rejected. The quality tends to be correlated with the academic interest in the subject. The one edit I can’t propose is to an item of military history as it is a whitewash covered by Official Secrets.

So, again, how did Eostre overlay and displace true Easter in popular culture for the past, ooooooh, 1500 years? And how did Rome celebrate Jesus’ birthday for the first time 300 years after His death? Was it that the Empire was only recently Christianized but all Christians always knew it was December 25th 4 B.C.? How?


Can’t you see why the military doesn’t want you editing their articles?

the article was talking about the origins of the name “Easter.”

There is no ancient document showing a decision to celebrate Christmas on a pagan holiday. The church decided the date by counting forward from the assumed date of the annunciation.


What do you think?

Which article?

And when and how did the Church assume the date of the Annunciation? And yes, I’m fully familiar with the course of Abijah, and that Jesus was therefore born in September. Or March. Or any month at all.

That I don’t know. I could try to find out from some trustworthy source.

The seasons. Xmas is winter solstice, Lady Day is the vernal equinox. Anthropologically that’s as good as it gets. How about a surprising Muslim source? If anything it’s down to the course of Abijah.

Lol.Of course you gonna defend it since you are an editor.But your credibility on the argument is lost.Its like saying"yeah sure im gonna defend Nick im his friend".Like isnt that obvious ?
And no its not great,id rather use my school book than wikipedia.It might have less propaganda from the person writting the information

I defend it because it is an open source online portal to the world library of knowledge. Your school book is of no use to me and I couldn’t search on it if I had a copy. If I need a summary of Thomas Aquinas now, where should I go? Now? Right this moment? What does your school book say?

Sure.Go to wiki where i can clasify Thomas aquinas as racist and everything else i want.I can do it now if you want.Ive edited multiple times correcting false information there.So are you gonna answer my question or continue playing the smartypants here ?Your site is filled with contradictions and false information.And when it comes down to learning its dangerous.If i want an answer to some question of mine ill just go to a uni page if they have an article or at least an encyclopedia.

Riiiiight. Old Thom was racist, that’s all we need to know. I don’t have a site. What uni site? What encyclopaedia? What contradictions? What false information?

Hi everyone, it is your friendly neighbourhood Moderator here. I think discussing the pros and cons of Wikipedia are somewhat beyond the scope of this topic (let alone the forum), shall we bring things back on topic?

Thanks all!


You are incapable of having a simple debate as that.Your citing Wikipedia s the ultimate unbiased source of information and you dont accept any critic of it.You havent answered anything you just refuse to acnowledge these things i stated above even exist.So since this is not going anywhere and since this is out of topic i will stop and leave you with the closeminded perseptions you have

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

This is a place for gracious dialogue about science and faith. Please read our FAQ/Guidelines before posting.