Easter’s been hiding a few things…
As the blossoms of spring bloom and the days grow warmer, the festive spirit of Easter fills the air.
With its cheerful pastel colors, fluffy bunnies, and chocolate eggs, this holiday seems to be all about joy and innocence.
However, upon delving just a little bit deeper into its history, you’ll discover that Easter is more than just painted eggs and cute decorations. It has roots in ancient pagan rituals that are steeped in mystery, darkness and even in Dark Fantasy.
So, grab mushy Peep and let’s explore Easter’s pagan origins… and the holiday’s connections to Dark Fantasy literature.
The Pagan Origins of Easter
The word “Easter” itself is believed to have derived from the Old English word “Ēostre,” which is associated with an ancient pagan goddess of fertility and spring.
The festival of Ēostre was celebrated during the spring equinox – a time when the days and nights are of equal length, marking the transition from winter to spring.
Many of the customs and symbols associated with Easter have pagan roots as well.
The Secret Meaning of the Easter Egg
The ubiquitous egg – the main symbol for Easter – is actually a symbol of fertility and new life. In pagan traditions, the egg represented the renewal of life and the promise of rebirth after the cold winter months. Likewise, the rabbit, a symbol of fertility and abundance, was associated with the goddess Ēostre.
Dark Fantasy Literature and Easter: Unlikely Bedfellows
While at first glance, Easter may not seem to have any connections to Dark Fantasy literature, these pagan roots create a bridge between the two worlds. Dark Fantasy is a genre that combines elements of fantasy with darker, more sinister themes, often exploring the boundaries between life and death, light and darkness.
This duality is also present in the pagan origins of Easter, as the celebration of life and rebirth coexists with the acknowledgment of the darkness that preceded it.
In Dark Fantasy fiction, the lines between good and evil, life and death, and light and darkness are often blurred. Characters, creatures and worlds are shaped by both the nurturing power of life and the inevitable decay that follows. Easter, with its roots in pagan traditions, can serve as an inspiration for the creation of such worlds.
H.P. Lovecraft and Easter
One notable example of this connection can be found in the world of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. The fertility goddess Shub-Niggurath – also known as the “Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young” – embodies the dual nature of life and death. Although Shub-Niggurath represents fertility and the creation of new life, her offspring are monstrous creatures that inspire terror and dread.
- Easter’s pagan roots: The holiday is connected to the ancient fertility goddess Ēostre and her associated symbols, such as eggs and rabbits, which represent renewal and rebirth.
- Dark Fantasy link: Easter’s duality of life and death, and light and darkness, mirrors themes found in Dark Fantasy literature, which explores the boundaries between these contrasting elements.
- Inspirational connection: The pagan origins of Easter can serve as a source of inspiration for Dark Fantasy worlds and characters, as seen in H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos.
On a lighter note… what’s your favorite Easter candy?