Monday, April 1, 2013

Why is Easter called "Easter"?

In 725, the Venerable Bede suggested in De temporum ratione that the English term Easter (cognate with modern German Ostern) developed from the Old English word Ēastre or Ēostre. It is generally believed to have originally referred to the name of an Anglo-Saxon goddessĒostre (goddess of “the dawn” or “the Spring”).

The evidence for the Anglo-Saxon goddess, however, has not been universally accepted, and some have proposed that Eostre may have meant "the month of opening.”  

In truth, the exact origins of this feast day's name are unknown. One theory traces Easter to the Latin term hebdomada alba, or “white week,” an ancient reference to Easter week and the white clothing donned by people who were baptized during that time. Through a translation error, the term later appeared as esostarum in Old High German, which eventually became Easter in English.

1 comment:

Vesta said...

very interesting)