As you know Easter is approaching – this means different things for everyone but anyone can be entertained by the amount of fluff that hits store shelves. (And I’m not talking about those little peeps either!) Perhaps this is is old news, but I for one never really stopped to consider where this whole rabbit business came from. The idea of a bunch of colored eggs suddenly going missing always seemed a little shallow to me – I don’t know about you but I tend to keep track of mine. Looking into what day Easter falls on is pretty interesting stuff – apparently the cycle that determines on which day it occurs changes often. This is one of the few "floating" holidays on our calendars, and the math behind it goes something like this: "In Western Christianity, Easter always falls on a Sunday between March 22 and April 25 inclusively. The following day, Easter Monday, is a legal holiday in many countries with predominantly Christian traditions. In the Julian calendar used by Eastern Christianity, Easter also always falls on a Sunday from March 22 to April 25 inclusive, which in the Gregorian calendar, due to the 13 day difference between the calendars between 1900 and 2099, are dates from April 4 to May 8 inclusive. … The calculations for the date of Easter are somewhat complicated. In the Western Church, Easter has not fallen on the earliest of the 35 possible dates, March 22, since 1818, and will not do so again until 2285. It will, however, fall on March 23 in 2008, but will not do so again until 2160. Easter last fell on the latest possible date, April 25, in 1943 and will next fall on that date in 2038." [source] …here in Nebraska we judge when Easter hits as our last ice-storm date. If it’s blizzard conditions toward the end of March is must be Easter weekend! But where did the concept of Easter come from, and why do we call it that? If you’re a Christian you believe that Jesus rose from the grave on a Sunday morning, which happens to be near the same weekend as this age-old celebration: "The word "Easter" comes from an ancient pagan goddess worshipped by Anglo Saxons named Eostre. According to legend, Eostre once saved a bird whose wings had frozen during the winter by turning it into a rabbit. Because the rabbit had once been a bird, it could still lay eggs, and that rabbit became our Easter Bunny. Eggs were a symbol of fertility in part because they used to be so scarce during the winter. There are records of people giving each other decorated eggs at Easter as far back as the 11th century." [source] But wait, there’s more: "Some have wondered why the word "Easter" is in the the King James Bible. It is because Acts, chapter 12, tells us that it was the evil King Herod, who was planning to celebrate Easter, and not the Christians. The true Passover and pagan Easter sometimes coincide, but in some years, they are a great distance apart." [source] After some additional research, I found this: "Most reference books say that the name "Easter" derived from the Eastre, the Teutonic goddess of Spring. Although this relationship exists, in reality, the origin of the name and the goddess are far more ancient – going all the way back to the Tower of Babel. The origin begins not long after the Biblical Flood. … Basically, almost every vile, profane and idolatrous practice you can think of originated at Babel with Queen Semiramis, the Mother Goddess and Nimrod. As the people scattered from Babel with their different languages, they, of course, used different names for Nimrod (Tammuz) and Semiramis. Some called the Mother Goddess “ISHTAR” (originally pronounced “Easter”). In other lands, she was called Eostre, Astarte, Ostera, and Eastre. Other names for Semiramis, the Mother Goddess include: Wife of Baal, Ashtaroth or Ashtoreth, and Queen of Heaven. The Mother goddess was frequently worshiped as the goddess of fertility – and as a sort of Mother Nature and goddess of Spring and sexual love and birth. She was also worshiped as a mediator between god and man. Sexual orgies and temple prostitutes were often used in her worship and in attempting to gain her favor." [source] So basically we hand out eggs and bunnies because of some goddess that made the first fertility-themed Animorphs show? Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing bad about a little hide-and-seek, but can I be honest and say this is a really silly holiday if that’s all you do to celebrate it? If this is the case than it falls into the same category as Valentine’s Day – most people probably don’t even know the origin but are fine with buying decorations and a surplus of retail goodies just the same. I implore you to research the holidays you take part in and take a step back to see how the way we celebrate things has changed over the years. Sometimes there are much better reasons to celebrate an occasion than what society hands us! You’ve been Hoodwinked baby!