Sunday, March 31, 2013

Relevant Random Facts: The Goddess of Easter Isn't the One You Think

It was a close call. Too bad it didn't fall on April Fool's Day, or I'd have much more fun with it. One of these days I'll get my wish. But first, the relevant random trivia.

I've been hearing that "Easter" is supposed to be a variant of "Ishtar" (the goddess), whose holy day is the spring equinox. But then other facts intrude from the depths of my brain, and I realize I can't agree. For one thing, the holiday's name in German is "Oster", related to the word for east. But there's another goddess, an ancient Indo-European one, whose day also falls on the spring equinox, namely the dawn goddess: Aurora in Latin, Eos in Greek — and Easter in English (Ostara in medieval German).

Argue my point all you want, this is what I learned.