In the Christian world Easter is always celebrated in the first week after the full moon, following the vernal equinox. This religious occasion reflects the Christian conviction that Christ died, was buried, and subsequently disappeared on Friday, and was resurrected the third day after his death, i.e. on Sunday. The date of Easter Sunday was established by the Church Council of Nicea in CE 325.
The Webster's Dictionary describes Easter as "name of pagan vernal festival almost coincident in date with paschal festival of the church
". The so-called 'pagan' festival is the Egyptian Easter. But, how and why was this national holiday started in Egypt so long ago? How does it coincide with the Christian's Easter celebration?
More than 5,000 years ago, ancient Egyptians adopted a national holiday, which came at the end of a four-day ceremony. According to Egyptian legend, Ausar (Osirus) died, was buried and then disappeared on Friday. They called that day the "Loss of Ausar". Ausar was resurrected, on the third day, i.e. on Sunday. The fourth day was and is the day of festivities.
Ausar was associated with both the lunar and solar cycles. The four-day ceremony of the death of Ausar was therefore held in the week following the full moon (lunar cycle), following the vernal equinox (solar cycle), which is exactly the same date set for the Christian Easter.
Like the biblical Jesus:
Ausar symbolizes the divine in a mortal form.
Ausar symbolizes mortal man carrying within himself the potential for spiritual salvation.
The Egyptian King embodied the personal, spiritual destiny of all mankind. In death, the Egyptian King was assimilated to the mortal neter, Ausar. The dead king was equated with Ausar, and since the King represented all men, all men in death were Ausar. Auset (Isis) held a similar role with woman.
It is interesting to know that Easter Monday is and has been a national holiday in Egypt for at least 5,000 years! It is now called the ‘Breath of Life’ day. It is the happiest day in the Egyptian calendar. People shed their winter clothes and wear their brightest outfits. Springtime is here.
One of the best-known Easter Symbols is the egg, which has symbolized renewed life since ancient times, because all living creatures begin life in an egg. Egyptians continue to color eggs and eat them during their celebration.
The Easter hare, or bunny, comes from antiquity as well. The hare is associated with the moon in the legends of ancient Egypt. It belongs to the night when it comes out to feed. It is born with its eyes opened and, like the moon, is "the open-eyed watcher of the skies". Through the fact that the Egyptian word for hare, "un
", means also "open" and "period", the hare became associated with the idea of periodicity, both lunar and human, and so became a symbol of fertility and of the renewal of life. As such, the hare became linked with the Easter, or paschal, eggs. In the U.S. the Easter rabbit is fabled to lay the eggs in the nests prepared for it or to hide them for the children to find.
As you can see, the Christian Easter is a mirror image of the Egyptians’ Breath of Life celebration except for one major difference: the Gospels’ tale of Jesus’ death and resurrection is considered historical and the ancient Egyptian tale of Ausar is a legend. You decide if you believe in the contents of the story, as a fact or fiction.
1. Historical Deception – The Untold Story of Ancient Egypt by Moustafa Gadalla
2. http://www.billpetro.com/HolidayHistory ... aster.html