Easter [from Eostre or Ostara goddess of spring] In the northern hemisphere, the time of the renewal of life in nature, and therefore the appropriate season for celebrating the mystery of rebirth and regeneration. Easter day was close to the time of one of the four sacred seasons connected with the equinoxes and solstices, which were individually celebrated in the ancient Mysteries as representatives of the four main phases of the drama of initiation. It was the second stage of initiation when the awakened person, in whom the Christ had already been born (as celebrated at a winter solstice), was preparing to become a conqueror of self and then a teacher. Easter today is the result of a confusion and compromise between this ancient spring festival (chiefly in its Northern European form) with ecclesiastical legends and the Jewish Feast of the Passover (pesah). Good Friday, following the Christian version of this ancient theme, commemorates the descent of the Christ into the tomb, and the Sunday following, which is the third day counting inclusively, celebrates the resurrection. Due to a confusion in early Christian thought, there are certain aspects of the Easter celebration which properly pertain to the winter solstice, which the Christians, however, have rightly held as commemorating the birth of Christ.
The Jewish ecclesiastical calendar was lunar, and the attempt to reconcile the solar calendar with the date of the Passover as fixed by the lunar calendar resulted in protracted disputes, ending in the present compromise with its fluctuating date. The use of eggs at Easter is symbolic of rebirth and shows the influence of the ancient rites, especially of Northern Europe.