OK, everyone who reads me knows how I feel about the way that Christianity has pirated all the fun pagan holidays, but I have to say that Easter is the most half-assed attempt at taking a holiday celebrating the full, fecund bloom of Spring and pasting over the whole death/resurrection of the Savior mythology.
I mean, they didn't even change the name- Oester was a fertility goddess of northern European mythology who had quite a lot of mystical powers. A bird came to her one day, and told her that she had fallen in love with a land animal, a rabbit, and wanted to be changed into a rabbit as well (how's that for a Rick Santorum nightmare scenario?). And so, Oester changed the bird into a rabbit, and in gratitude the rabbit laid eggs for the goddess for the rest of her life. Hence the Easter bunny.
So, we don't have easter bunnies because there may have been rabbits at the base of the cross, we have them because the Pagans fought a little harder to save the vestiges of their Spring festival when the Christians came to town. My theory is that the Oester festival was more important to them than the Winter Tree-centered festival, simply because fertility is such an important force in rural life. Think about it- the Winter festival is there just to keep everyone from going stir-crazy during the dark months. The Spring festival is everyone's reward for sticking with it and not offing themselves during the really dark days of a Nordic winter.
In that spirit, I reward all of you for making it through the dark days of winter and the first 85 days of another Bush term. I present, courtesy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press . . . AWARD-WINNING PEEPS DIORAMAS!!
St. John the Baptist, beheaded and presented to the Queen on a silver platter
Queer Peeps for the Straight Peep
Sermon on the Mount
And finally, my personal favorite:
Passion of the peeps.
Happy Oester, my little pagans!!