It depends on the flavor of your Christianity you follow.
It can be derived from the Hebrew word for Passover, but in some translations of the bible Passover is based on the Hebrew religious holiday Nisan.
The English form is derived from the German Goddess of Dawn; called Ēaster, Ēastre, and Ēostre, in various dialects of Old English.
In England, the annual festive time in her honor was in the "Month of Easter" or Ēosturmonath, equivalent to April/Aprilis.
An 8th century monk wrote this; "Eostur-month, which is now interpreted as the paschal month, was formerly named after the goddess Eostre, and has given its name to the festival."
According to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/easter...
"Easter also refers to the season of the church year, called Eastertide or the Easter Season, lasting for fifty days, from Easter Sunday to Pentecost; and, in the Roman Catholic Church, to the eight-day feast beginning on Easter Day called the Octave of Easter.
In most languages of Christian societies, other than English, German and some Slavic languages, the holiday's name is derived from Pesach, the Hebrew name of Passover, a Jewish holiday to which the Christian Easter is intimately linked. Easter depends on Passover not only for much of its symbolic meaning but also for its position in the calendar; the Last Supper shared by Jesus and his disciples before his crucifixion is generally thought of as a Passover meal, based on the chronology in the Gospels. Some, however, interpreting "Passover" in John 18:28 as a single meal and not a seven-day festival, interpret the Gospel of John as differing from the Synoptic Gospels by placing Christ's death at the time of the slaughter of the Passover lambs, which would put the Last Supper slightly before Passover, on 14 Nisan of the Bible's Hebrew calendar. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, "In fact, the Jewish feast was taken over into the Christian Easter celebration."
The English name, "Easter", and the German, "Ostern", derive from the name of a putative Germanic Goddess of the Dawn (thus, of spring, as the dawn of the year) - called Ēaster, Ēastre, and Ēostre, in various dialects of Old English. In England, the annual festive time in her honor was in the "Month of Easter" or Ēosturmonath, equivalent to April/Aprilis. The Venerable Bede, an 8th Century English Christian monk wrote in Latin:
"Eosturmonath, qui nunc paschalis mensis interpretatur, quondam a dea illorum quae Eostre vocabatur et cui in illo festa celebrabant nomen habuit."
Translates as: "Eostur-month, which is now interpreted as the paschal month, was formerly named after the goddess Eostre, and has given its name to the festival."
In most Slavic languages, the name for Easter either means Great Day or Great Night. For example Wielkanoc and Velikonoce mean Great Night or Great Nights in Polish and Czech, respectively. Великден (Vělikděn') and Вялікдзень (Vjalikdzěn') mean 'The Great Day' in Bulgarian and Ukrainian respectively. In Serbian and Croatian, however, the day's name reflects a more particular theological connection: it is called "Uskrs," meaning 'Resurrection.'"
Easter may come from Ishtar, a mid east star goddess. Or from Oestr, a norse fertility goddess. Many of its symbols are pagan: rabbits and eggs are fertility symbols for example.
Easter is apparently named after the pagan goddess Eostre (Latin: Oestre), an Anglo-Saxon maiden-goddess of fertility. Some might link her to Ishtar / Astarte, the Middle Eastern goddess, but such a link is only apparent. The identification of Ishtar with Astarte was instituted by Sargon the Great when he engaged in his
Online Etymology Dictionary.
Origin of the word Easter
O.E. Eastre (Northumbrian Eostre), from P.Gmc. *Austron, a goddess of fertility and sunrise whose feast was celebrated at the spring equinox, from *austra-, from PIE *aus- "to shine" (especially of the dawn). Bede says Anglo-Saxon Christians adopted her name and many of the celebratory practices for their Mass of Christ's resurrection. Ultimately related to east. Almost all neighboring languages use a variant of L. Pasche to name this holiday. Easter Island so called because it was discovered by Europeans on Easter Sunday, 1722.
An important religious festival among Christians; it commemorates the Resurrection of Jesus after his Crucifixion. Easter is celebrated on a Sunday in spring, and the season of Easter, a time of rejoicing, continues for several weeks. The penitential season of Lent is a time of preparation for Easter.
It's derived from the Old English "astere" and It means "A Festival of Spring"
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