God of the Week: Eostre

God of the Week 03/29/2010: Eostre

Easter is the ancient Germanic goddess of spring.

The Christian celebration Easter is named after her, perhaps because it coincides with a festival held in her honor on the spring equinox, as attested to by the monk Saint Bede in the 8th century CE in his book De Ratione Temporum.

We Germans to this day call April ostermonat…Eástre, must in the heathen religion have denoted a higher being, whose worship was so firmly rooted, that the christian teachers tolerated the name, and applied it to one of their own grandest anniversaries. All the nations bordering on us have retained the Biblical ‘pascha’;

-Jakob Grimm, Teutonic Mythology vol 1, page 290

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