Meaghan Wilson Anastasios

Screenwriter and bestselling author of 'The Honourable Thief', 'The Water Diviner', and 'The Pacific: In the Footsteps of Captain Cook.'

No matter which faith or belief system you’ve signed up for – or lack of same – one thing you can’t deny is that the entrepreneurial spirits who crafted the early Christian Church were masters of marketing.

Want to amp up your convert numbers to keep upper management happy when your KPIs for the year are calculated? Align yourself with a popular local, non-Christian, deity.

See: Eostre – a pre-Christian goddess who oversaw springtime celebrations in Olde England, which also happened to coincide roughly with Jewish Passover and that passage of Jesus’ reported life story.

Spoiler alert – he dies. And rises again!

So what metaphors were chosen to represent new life? Spring and eggs (couldn’t be too abstract when dealing with pagans, you see. The more obvious the better).

Abundance and rebirth = bunnies, who procreate like, well, bunnies.

So, from Eostre/spring goddess, we get Easter. Which is also why English speakers have ‘Easter’ and other Euro languages have words relating to ‘Passover’… eg: Pâques in France, Pascha in Greek.

As for the Easter Bunny… Well, don’t ever accuse the Germans of being too serious – they gave us the Easter hare who brought eggs to good little children. Which became chocolate. Because… chocolate.

Though logic fails with the Easter hare’s inability to lay eggs and lack of opposable thumbs to craft same.

But, chocolate. Easy to suspend disbelief.

Anyway, happy Eostre, all. And, remember- if you’re ever at risk of thinking you’ve signed up for an exclusive club that makes you more special than everybody else, likelihood is that someone else has been there already.

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