Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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Do you happen to know when our 'Feast of the Resurrection' was called 'Easter' and how it came to be? I was told that Easter was a pagan feast. Is this true?

The most prevalent explanation of the name “Easter”, which is of German or Dutch origins, does share in a legend of a pagan goddess whose name is Eostre or Eastre. A 7th-8th century monk named Bede identified this goddess of fertility and rising light of day and spring as her name is derived from the ancient word meaning spring and whose festivities take place in April. Thus, the symbols of bunnies and eggs as continuance of life have some association to this pagan mythology. It is believed that the Protestant Church under the auspices of Martin Luther in the 16th century was the first to use the term "Easter" to separate themselves from the Catholic Church that used the Latin term Festa Paschalia.  That being said, in Christianity, the word Easter is distinctively associated with Pascha, an Aramaic and Greek term that translates to Passover in English. Celtic, Teutonic, Dutch, Swedish, and the Romance languages have all adopted a translation of the term Pascha.
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