Celtic Culture - Easter, Imbolc and Beltane

For millions of Christians, Easter is the resurrection of their Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible describes the resurrection of Jesus, but does it connect it with Easter at all? The word Easter or Easter festival does not appear in the original text of the New Testament.

How is it that Christians celebrate the death of Jesus with bunnies, chicks, and chicken eggs? Presumably, this has to do with traditions that are much older than Christianity. Long before Christ, festivals got held around this time. The spring equinox was very important for almost all ancient cultures. Because it marked the end of winter, which was very hard and often life-threatening for people.

This is the time when nature sends a message of renewal and awakening after long winter nights. It was thus a form of New Year's Eve. In ancient Rome, the year began in March, dedicated to Mars, the father of the founding twins of the city. It was a celebration that celebrates the fertility of the Earth. Now one could sow the seeds. The more northern peoples such as the Celts moved this recurrence to Beltane.

At that time, people revered by a goddess named Ostara. It was the Nordic form of the Phoenician Astarte. Eostur is the Norwegian word for spring. And this, in turn, bears similarities to the Babylonian Ishtar. Her pet had been the hare. In honor of her, ritual fights happened to symbolize the victory of summer over the winter.

What is certain is that the return of spring has also always got celebrated in our latitudes. The old traditions have not completely disappeared, but remains of them got preserved. That is why there are still many Easter traditions, which seem very magical.

When Christianity began to replace the old religions, many old traditions got adopted. It was to bring people closer to the new religion. Many ancient churches have got built on ancient cult sites. Many an ecclesiastical feast takes place at the same time as the feasts of the ancient religions. Easter coincides with the old spring festival of Alban Eilir.

Christians today celebrate Jesus' rebirth. But other cultures also had gods who have overcome death. The Sumerians celebrated the return of their god Tammuz from the land of the dead. He got brought back from the underworld by his mother/wife, Ishtar (after whom this feast gets named). Ishtar was the mother goddess of fertility and the goddess of heaven.

In ancient Egypt, it was Osiris, who defeated death. In Phenicia, people believed that Adonis came back from death. And the Greeks and later the Romans had their Dionysus. These are all those festivals which differ only in time and culture.

Spring was for the ancient men the season of sacred weddings. The men and women mingled to propitiate fertility. For the Celts, the Spring began in Imbolc. It was halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.

Beltane was the festival of Bel, a venerated divinity in Ireland and Gallia. His cult dates back to the era of Megalithism and is one of the oldest divinities. He was the pastor god, healer, and protector of thermal waters. He was a Pan-Celtic divinity associated with fire and water, the god of rebirth. His wife was the goddess Belisama. The fact that she is often represented with snakes in her hands show that she was a goddess of wisdom and healing. Belisama was also the Goddess of the waters, rivers, brooks for healing and fertility.

Gauls light up great fires to welcome the spring and purify the cattle. Young couples also jumped through the fire. It is on this occasion that Julius Caesar sees wickers burn with sacrificial humans. Even the water received more power from the Beltane sun.

The water from sacred springs got sprinkled on the fields to favor the rain. For this reason, the wells got watched by the peasants throughout the night of the vigil. The first water taken by the legitimate owner brought luck, protection, and healing. If it got stolen, it also took away good luck.

Girls rolled in the grass to enjoy the dew, believing that it was good for the skin. The girls picked it up in a jar of glass to use it as a tonic of beauty.

A Celtic ritual was the goddess unite with the god to renew the life and fertility of the Earth. Boys dressed in green as wood elves ventured into the sacred wood, playing a horn so girls could find them. They unite in Beltane night for the fields to be fertile and was auspicious for the future harvest. The child born of this union were benevolent. As they were the children of the gods, none of the villagers dared to hurt them.

The allegorical alternative was instead the dance around the May Pole. It was a rite of fertility with the garlands stuck on a pole. Among the many beliefs and rituals, girls get out before dawn and take the first snail found. They put the snail on a plate sprinkled with flour and leave a cabbage leaf. In its walk, the snail will write the name of the future groom!

The herbs collected before sunrise have better healing properties especially for treating warts. The first butter produced was the best for preparing ointments and ointments. People prepare a kind of flatbread made of oatmeal and cooked on the stone. The characteristic of this unleavened bread was its ease of preparation.

Astarte (Easter) worship was always associated with the worship of Baal or the sun worship. Astarte was Baal's wife. Please note that another name was for Astarte Ashtaroth. What does the term Easter mean to itself? It is not a Christian name, it carries its Chaldean origin on its forehead.

Easter is nothing more than Astarte, one of the titles of the Beltis, Queen of Heaven. Today, the goddess of the Assyrians, or Astarte, is a Semiramis at Athenagoras, and Lucian. No name could represent the character of the Semiramis as Queen of Babylon than the name of 'Asht-tart'. Since it means 'The woman who built the towers'. Ashturite is the same as the Hebrew 'Ashtoreth'.

In actuality, Ashtaroth (Ishtar) was Nimrod's mother/wife widow! Easter is now established as nothing but the Ashtaroth of the Bible! The goddess of Oster was no different. She was a goddess with many names - the goddess of fertility - who got revered in spring when all life renewed.

Ishtar was not only an analogy of the Egyptian Isis, the Greek Aphrodite, and the Roman Venus. She was the formal heiress of one of the strangest customs of the Babylonians. Every native woman was to oblige, once in her life to have intercourse with a stranger.

We now take a look at the origin of other customs connected with modern Easter celebrations. Since there is no instruction in the Bible to keep fasting, where does it come from? Abstinence was in ancient times in honor of the pagan gods Osiris, Adonis, and Tammuz. It got observed by the pagans of Mexico and Egypt. This fasting is a custom that comes from paganism, not from the Bible!

Eggs were always associated with celebrating Easter. The modern world has a tradition of coloring eggs in beautiful and different methods. The origin of the Easter egg rests on the fertility of the Indo-European races. For them, the egg was a symbol of spring. In Christianity, the egg becomes a symbol of the rock crypt from which Christ came through. This is a clear example of how pagan symbols and customs got Christianized. This is to mislead people - and so they feel better that they follow customs that are not stated in the Bible.

Eggs got hung up in the Egyptian temples, which was the emblem of the fertile life. In ancient Egypt and Persia, friends exchanged painted eggs at the beginning of the new year. In the Middle East, Christians took over this custom, and the Easter egg has become a religious symbol. It represented the grave from which Jesus reverted to new life.

The Easter bunny had its origin in pre-Christian fertility rites. The Easter bunny was never given religious symbolism to his traditional festive tradition. No one has ever been able to connect the Easter Bunnies with anything in Christianity - let alone the Bible. The 'Easter Bunny' is not a Christian symbol.

The Hare, the symbol of the fertility of ancient Egypt was a symbol that was later sustained in Europe. Even in modern times, hares have retained the general symbol of fertility. There is nothing Christian in any of these symbols.