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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

If I Didn’t… and I Don’t… Celebrate Easter… So… Why the Hecks am I the One… Cleaning this Mess Up!?!

"As-Salaam-Alaikum," "Peace be unto you"


If I Didn’t… and I Don’t… Celebrate Easter… So… Why the Hecks am I the One… Cleaning this Mess Up!?!


On Monday... my day off to relax and catch up on things while the twins are at school… I found myself dragging to clean up the mess left on my porch and in my yard from visiting neighborhood kids whose families celebrate Easter… with an attitude NO Doubt… because I am tired from babysitting a newborn who decided that he wanted to talk all night… seriously… 

I didn’t get to bed to around 9:00 on Monday morning… and even though I am Muslim and we don’t celebrate the holidays… honestly, I haven’t celebrated Easter in years or really any other holidays except Christmas… hecks… I even stopped celebrating my birthday some years ago… for the life of me… can’t figure out… " If I Didn’t… and I Don’t… Celebrate Easter... So... Why the Hecks am I the One… Cleaning this Mess Up?!?

As I was saying… as I was picking up the smashed colorful egg shells off my porch… my sidewalk and driveway… I began reminiscing on how I would spend so much time with the other women in my Sistah circle and the kids… coloring Easter eggs and putting candy in those plastic eggs…



Have you ever noticed that when you start putting candy in the eggs you try to make them all even… at first… but as the night quickly beings to pass along and you realize you have a million other things to get done before the Easter festivities begin… you could care less if one egg has more candy in it than the others…

Or making those dang Easter baskets… by the time I got finished… I had that fake green and pink grass all over the place… hecks… I was worse than the kids…

And let’s not talk about those darn slippery and annoying Easter eggs… In my mind… I was going to the be the first Black female Picasso… but the problem was… I can’t paint an egg… let alone an art masterpiece… by the time I was finished coloring my eggs… I had more dye on my hands and face, the table and of course... all over my clothes!

Than like other families do… We would wake up early the next morning to hide the eggs at the designated meet up spot… and helping the little ones find the ones with the money in them because the big kids would oftentimes knock them down to get to all the eggs…


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Ladies… you know how we do… we would stash a few eggs for the little ones and slip them into their baskets when the big kids aren’t looking… 

Wow… all the money I wasted on Easter clothes for the kids... you know we had to send our kids out on Easter Sunday looking good… whether you went to church or not… the kids… and must admit… myself too… were dressed from head to toe… 

I would literally spend my last dime for my FAB FIVE to look good on Easter or any other holiday for that fact!

Than one day… I believe I was having one of those intellectual debates with FAB FIVE about why we don’t celebrate Easter anymore… or any of the other holidays… except Christmas… I just told them that it’s not worth the hassle or worth me wasting my hard-earned money on making the HAVES more richer and us being… the HAVE NOTS… poorer... and for me… Easter had lost its significance a long time ago because it’s not only a marketable holiday, but it celebrates pagan rituals… Just Saying!!!

Did you know that the traditional symbols that we associate Easter with are the combination of different traditions… Germanic Pagan, Hebrew and Christianity… that reflect different cultures which have been passed down throughout the generations? Lets’ begin…

The History Behind the Day Easter is Celebrated


In order for me to explain why people celebrate Easter… and we celebrate it on Sunday… I must start at the beginning…

According to the staff writers of History.com website, in the 1st century, the “Easter” holiday celebration for Christians was first named Pascha which is Greek word that originates from the Hebrew word Pesach, which means Passover. In some faiths, Passover is referred to as being the Feast of the Resurrection of the Lord.

The celebration of Pascha around the 15th of the month of Nisan is accordance to the Hebrew calendar. The month of Nisan is a Jewish holiday that celebrates the remembrance when GOD freed the Hebrew slaves in Egypt from the Egyptian Pharaoh, Rameses II. 

Now… the Pascha festival or Passover in Christianity is a celebration to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ (PBUH)… or Peace Be Upon Him… after his crucifixion and arose from the dead two days after the Passover celebration. However, according to the Bible…I believe it is in Luke… somewhere around... chapters 22-24… Jesus Christ (PBUH) was crucified on the eve of… which means before… the Passover and in 3 days arose from the dead.

Consequently, Christians of different denominations began to disagree over what day and date to celebrate the Easter holiday.

Staff writers at History.com explained that the Christians of Jewish descent who had strong, old traditions whose churches were in the East… closer to where Jesus Christ (PBUH) was crucified… observed Easter in accordance to the date of the Passover celebration.

Meaning, they celebrated the Easter holiday immediately after the Passover festivities which were in accordance to the lunar calendar. This unfortunately meant that Easter celebrations fell on a different day depending on the year.

On the other hand, Christians of Greco-Roman descent whose churches were in the West, celebrated Easter on the first day of the week which would be on a Sunday.

After the intervention of the Council of Nicaea, a church council, and the Roman Emperor Constantine, it was concluded that Easter would fall on a Sunday after the full moon and after Spring Equinox, explained staff writers at Histor.com.

Now… this is just my little opinion… if the Easter celebration is representative of Jesus Christ’s (PBUH) resurrection… than what does a full moon or a Spring Equinox has to do with anything… Just Saying!?!

The Origins Behind the word “Easter”


History.com staff writers reported that the name Easter originates from the word Eostre which is associated with ancient Teutonic mythology– a type of Germanic Paganism and a European mythology that was practiced around the 12th century by the ancient Greeks– Eostre was an ancient Teutonic goddess who represented Spring and fertility,

For those who aren’t familiar with paganism… I will explain it. According to Dictionary.com, people who practice a pagan religion or a polytheistic religion… such as the ancient Greeks and Romans… believe in more than one God and some are idol worshippers.

Amanda Borschel-Dan, the editor of the Times of Israel's Jewish World newspaper, reported that a 7th-8th century English Monk, who has been coined the “father of English history,” the former pagans in England called April, or the month marking Jesus Christ’s (PBUH) resurrection for the Christians, “Ēosturmōnaþ,” which is explained to be Old English for the “Month of Ēostre.”

Also, according Borschel-Dan, Bede in his “De temporum ratione” (“The Reckoning of Time”), the Christian holiday “was called after a goddess of theirs named Ēostre, in whose honor feasts were celebrated in that month.”

"The dawn [or sunlight] connection could explain a linguistic link between Ēostre and the word “east,.” stated Borschel-Dan.

Pagan Goddess Eostre (or Ostara)
So, the people who practiced ancient Teutonic mythology believed that every year, Eostre or (Ostara). would come to Earth after a lengthy, cold winter and ushered in the warmth and the sunlight of Spring, explained History.com. 

According to History.com, in celebration of her arrival, the ancient Greeks held pagan festivals to welcome Eostre and celebrate the beginning of spring. 

This mythology allowed the Greeks to correlate Winter with death and Spring with life.

Now... Ladies… I truly believe that when you are celebrating Easter… you aren’t secretly celebrating the pagan goddess, Eostre… 

However… did you know that with your continual participation in celebrating Easter customs or your family's generational traditions… you have unwittingly embraced cultural traditions associated with the pagan goddess Eostre… and are passing these paganist traditions down to your innocent children… Just Saying!

So as you can see... as Christianity became more popular and spread throughout Europe; different pagan holiday's customs, like the Eostre’s festival, influenced and intermingled with Christian traditions & celebrations. 

Therefore, Easter festivities that are celebrated within your homes with your family has many different traditional symbols that combined the Christian and pagan celebrations.

Symbols Associated with the Pagan Goddess Eostre


There are many pagan traditions that have survived and we celebrate on Easter… or you might have celebrated this very day… that are associated with the pagan goddess, Eostre and celebrations that are truly in honor of her, revealed the staff writers at History.com.

One of the symbols that has survived that represents Eostre’s festival is the beloved Easter bunny who is marketed to us as a rabbit bringing Easter eggs and joy to our children. This loveable character has been marketed as a true symbol of Easter and it has become customary for us to buy different flavored chocolate bunny rabbits and eggs.



However, the Easter rabbit or bunny within Germanic pagan history and traditions is a symbol of fertility and those brightly colored Easter eggs that we spend hours decorating, hiding or used in our Easter egg contests represent the sunlight of Spring that the pagan goddess Eostre ushers in for us to bask in, according to the staff writers at History.com.

In the 13th century, Christians implemented the Easter egg tradition. Many Christians are uncomfortable in acknowledging this symbolism origination is from paganism. Therefore, the usage of the egg during Easter celebrations is explained that the yoke inside of the egg symbolizes Jesus Christ’s (PBUH) resurrection and the painting of the eggs red, represents the blood of Jesus Christ (PBUH) that was shed on the cross for his followers, in a effort to rebrand it.


Easter’s Marketability


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According to the Treacy Reynolds... and no that's not a typo... that is how the name is spelled... a writer for the National Retail Federation (NRF), it was estimated that in 2016,

 Americans spent about $17.3 billion on clothing, food, decorations, and other holiday items this Easter which is an increase from $16.4 billion estimated in 2015.

NRF’s 2016 survey, estimated that American consumers spent about $5.5 billion on food, $3 billion on clothing, $2.7 billion on gifts, $2.4 billion on candy which is up from the estimation of $2.2 billion spent in 2015 for Easter and $1.2 billion on flowers.

NRF estimated that Americans spent $146.00 per person on Easter in 2016.

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The 2017 NRF survey data revealed that on Easter 2017, American consumers are estimated to have spent a record high of $18.4 billion.

NRF estimates that American consumers will spend $5.8 billion on food, $3.3 billion on clothing which is up 45 % higher than 2016, and 2.6 billion on candy.

Also, it has been estimated that the American consumers also will spend $2.6 billion on gifts, $1.2 billion on flowers, $1.1 billion on decorations and $788 million on greeting cards.

NRF’s yearly survey reported that 81.3% of Americans are going to be celebrating Easter in 2017 and they will spend an average of $152 per person this year, which is an increase compared to Easter 2016.


ejnosillA’s Final Thoughts


As I sit here taking a little break to write this after Easter blog post… and my nerves have calmed down from trying to pick up every little piece of eggshells off my front porch and lawn… seriously... don’t kids realize that it takes a lot of energy to get some of those stubborn… little… itsy bitsy… pieces of eggshells up…

It’s funny… Um... now that I'm thinking about it... when I said let’s go outside and clean up to my sons… mind you, WE… not ME… are supposed to be helping me clean up after the twins and their friends came over here messing up… it seems that everybody has magically disappeared when I went into the kitchen to grab some bags.. I guess... anyways...

So… Ladies… I want to ask you 3 questions before I let you go…

First, if Easter is about Jesus Christ (PBUH)… being crucified, buried and rising from the grave… What does the Easter bunny, Easter eggs and spending money for an Easter day outfit, the obscene amount of food we buy or that Easter egg hunt… have to do with Jesus Christ (PBUH)?

Secondly, how do your festivities reflect the sentiments of events surrounding Jesus Christ (PBUH)? Now… I know… some will say that you go to church on Easter Sunday… but are you really going to get spiritual guidance or are you just accustom to going to church on Easter because it’s your family’s tradition?

And lastly… this is a two parted… and I’m going to need you Ladies to pay attention to this one because I really need your help figuring this one out…If I Didn’t… and I Don’t… Celebrate Easter… So… Why the Hecks am I the One… Cleaning this Mess Up… and WHERE ARE THOSE DANG KIDS AT!?! Just Saying!

Please leave you comments and/or suggestions below... and as usual... 

Stay Blessed Queens!!!

May ALLAH Bless US ALL!!!


~ejnosillA



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References:

Eostre Pagan Goddess Image - Retrieved from: http://www.manygods.org.uk/articles/essays/eostre.jpg

Borschel-Dan, A. (2015). The pagan goddess behind the holiday of ‘Easter:’ Most languages use Aramaic to describe Jesus’s resurrection. Why is English different? Meet the ‘woman’ to blame. Retrieved from: http://www.timesofisrael.com/the-pagan-goddess-behind-the-holiday-of-easter/#ixzz3WSaSNIV8%20

Graph Colorful Background Image Reference: Retrieved from: http://tr.forwallpaper.com/wallpaper/texture-color-drop-217546.html

History.com Image: Retrieved from: http://www.topkeyword.info/today-history.htm


History.com Staff. (2009). Easter. Retrieved April 17, 2017 from History.com website http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/history-of-easter

National Retail Federation (NRF). (2017). 2017: A later Easter is expected to bring record spending. Retrieved from:https://nrf.com/resources/consumer-data/easter

Pagan. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved April 18, 2017 from Dictionary.com website http://www.dictionary.com/browse/pagan


Reynolds, T. (2016). NRF says Easter spending will reach $17.3 billion. Retrieved from: https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/nrf-says-easter-spending-will-reach-173-billion





1 comment :

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