Video: Easter Meaning (Why Is Easter Called Easter?)

Why is Easter Called Easter?

In this short video you will come to a better understanding of the origin and meaning of the word “Easter.”

First, it is important to understand that in most languages other than English and German, the root word for the season of Easter is actually Pasch as in Paschal or Passover.

As you probably remember, Jesus gathered with his disciples at the Last Supper to celebrate Passover. His Death and Resurrection align with Passover. Still today the date for Easter moves and aligns with the same dates as Passover. Why is this important? Because Jesus is the new Paschal Lamb that was sacrificed and ushered in a New Covenant.

So, keep in mind that the Church recognizes this connection to Passover and the New Convent in the word they use for the season of Easter.

So, where did he word Easter come from?

There is some debate about this, but it likely has two possible origins.

First, the root word for Easter may be “austron” which means “dawn.” So, the season of Easter may be a reminder of the new dawn, the new Resurrection that Jesus’ Resurrection gives to us.

It is also possible, that Christians adopted the word “Easter” from the name of the pagan goddess Eostre, the teutonic goddess of the dawn. This is where we get the word East, of course, which is the direction of Sunrise.

The challenge is that the name for the goddess and the words used to refer to the direction of the sunrise and even the entire season of Spring are all very similar. So, it may be that Christians adopted the word to help pagans adapt to the celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection or it may be that they felt it important to see Easter as a day and season of rebirth, just like the sunrise.

Easter Meaning: Graphic Organizer

Members can access the graphic organizer to give to students in order to follow along with this video here: Easter Meaning Video and Graphic Organizer



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About Jared Dees

Jared Dees is the creator of The Religion Teacher. He is the Content Marketing Manager at Ave Maria Press and the author of 31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator, To Heal, Proclaim, and Teach, and Praying the Angelus.