Religion; Posted on: 2007-04-08 10:55:15 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
Holiday has rich cultural meaning for millions of our people
Easter Sunday is the high point of the Christian Holy Week and is a holiday that, for millions of European people, celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. According to belief, Christ arose from death after laying in his tomb after being crucified, an event commemmorated on Good Friday.
While many white people no longer believe in the Christian religion, which now has nowhere near the influence it once had, the faith was very important to countless generations and the Easter season was a major event that has accrued a number of very rich cultural elements, both Christian and pre-Christian. As symbols of white history, holidays like Easter have been attacked consistently, and many racially-aware people are reviving an interest in such customs for themselves and their families.
Indeed, the Easter season has much deeper roots within our collective racial unconscious than the Christian faith alone. The season was celebrated by our pre-Christian ancestors as a period of rebirth, much as Christians still do. The name "Easter" comes from Eostre, a mysterious Anglo-Saxon Goddess. Suprisingly, not much is known about her, the only source being the Venerable Bede (672/3-735), an English monk and chronicler known as "The father of English history." According to Bede, "Eosturmonath, which is now interpreted as the paschal month, was formerly named after the goddess Eostre, and has given its name to the festival." The famous folklorist Jakob Grimm believed that she was called Ostara in German-speaking lands.
Image: The Resurrection, Hans Memling, 1430-1494
Easter was one of the three leading holy days ("holidays") in significance for our Christian foreparents. Christmas, of course, marked the incarnation of Christ, Good Friday his crucifixion, and Easter his resurrection. Easter Sunday is the start of the Easter Season of the church's liturgical calendar, marking the approaching end of Lent, which officially finishes with traditional games on Easter Monday. The Easter Season itself ends on Pentecost, the forty-ninth day after Easter Sunday. Pentecost is also called Whitsun (White Sunday) in the English-speaking world.
The legal, economic, religious, social and political life of our people was governed according to the liturgical calendar, which held a place of enormous importance and is vital to understanding our history. One continuing aspect is the concept of "official holidays," which are used to reinforce the values rulers seek to use to govern us. Far from being out of date, the "holiday" ("holy day") idea is a powerful tool of social engineering: just think of "holidays" like Martin Luther King Day in the United States (or the old Soviet holiday celebrating the October Revolution) and their intended message. Holidays like Columbus Day, concieved in a healthier era, were meant as reinforcements of values that are now deemed "politically incorrect" and which are targeted, in Orwellian fashion, for the "memory hole." Easter, along with Christmas and other holidays, is a key target for the same forces.
Social engineering is also behind the co-ordinated effort to dismantle, denigrate and devalue holidays that were important to our ancestors and give our people a sense of self-awareness. Many white people understand this latent power when they revive or acknowledge those holidays which helped to define us as a people and resist attempts to undermine them.
Easter is a target in the culture war in the West aimed at dismantling white self-consciousness. Jewish supremacists especially see the holiday as a threat, given the Christian teaching surrounding the crucifixion. According to the theology (which has been amended by some under pressure), the Jews accepted responsibility for Christ's execution after the Roman Pontius Pilate expressed a reluctance to carry out the act on their behalf. The Anti-Defamation League has called the Christian New Testament "anti-Semitic" as a result, and Mel Gibson's film, The Passion of the Christ, was ruthlessly attacked by those who otherwise pretend to preach "religious tolerance."
The idea of Spring, fertility, new life and the overcoming of death is seen in symbols associated with the season, such as the hot-cross buns, stamped with a "sunwheel" showing the coming of Spring. Fecund Easter bunnies, along with Easter eggs likewise stand for new life, and eggs were also sacred to the Greek Orphic pagans.
Like nearly all Western religious holidays, the Easter season was Christianized. The ancient practice of egg-rolling was later said to stand for the stone that was miraculously rolled from the opening of Christ's tomb on Easter morning. Easter eggs were also consecrated with a prayer: "We beseech thee, O Lord, to bestow thy benign blessing upon these eggs, to make them a wholesome food for thy faithful, who gratefully partake of them in honor of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ." Such syncretism, as the practice is known, is certainly far from unique to Christians in European history. Roman religion identified local Gods and Goddesses with their own Pantheon, which they themselves had identified with the Greek system. (Indeed, all European religious systems derive from a common, though often distant, root). Stone Age menhirs and similar edifices were reconsecrated by much later pagan peoples for their own religious use. The famous Stonehenge, built by pre-Celtic "Old Europeans", was later re-used by Bronze Age people whose agricultural solar religion had no direct connection to the faith of the original hunter-gathering founders, and was then forgotten until Iron Age Celts put it into use again. Later on, invading continental Anglo-Saxons, who practiced a Germanic heathenism, used the site after driving out the Celts, who themselves had become Christians and no longer used Stonehenge. Fantastic tales about Stonehenge and Merlin from the Middle Ages, based on myths from the immediate post-Roman period, show that the original purpose of Stonehenge was unknown to the later peoples who worshipped there. Similarly, the Easter season has layers upon layers of meaning that far pre-date the meaning attached to it today.
Easter's connection to the calendar underlines the pre-Christian roots of the holiday, and such computations served a vital economic role for our preindustrial foreparents. Planting and reaping all depended on exact calculations, and so religious holidays helped to determine the course of the seasons in everyday life. The fact that clergy represented the intellectual class for the bulk of our existence (pagan and Christian alike) highlights the importance of such events. The date for Easter is determined by computus -- Latin for "computations" -- and is based on astronomical, not theological, considerations. Since the Gregorian Calendar was adopted in 1582, Western churches have had a slightly different date for Easter than many Eastern Orthodox churches, who retain the Julian Calendar. However, in 2007 the dates coincide. Holidays like Easter, whose dates change according to such calculations, are called "moveable feasts," as opposed to holidays like Christmas, which are "fixed feasts."
Easter is dated from the Spring Equinox, and the computus is quite complicated, showing the intellectual sophistication of the religious establishment in the Christian era, which also preserved classical learning, founded the university system, defended the West from Islamic invasion, and provided a key element of Western self-awareness for generations.
Up until the comparatively recent past, the vast majority of our people were illiterate, and even if they had been able to read, the cost of hand-copied books was astronomical in pre-printing days. As a result, symbols were of great importance and were understood by ordinary people. Oral legends and myths, religious art and the cycle of the seasons were common currency. Plays by the likes of Shakespeare, with their richly layered historical, mythological and religious content, while considered sophisticated by today's standards were actually the entertainment fare of ordinary people.
Culturally speaking, the Easter season is a rich opening for parents to educate their children about our priceless shared history. Especially for white children who are taught in school and thanks to the mass media that whiteness is "boring" and is not "cool," seasons like Easter are a chance to explicitly head off the demoralization, internalized oppression and self-hatred before they take root. They're also a lot of fun.
Ukrainian Easter eggs (Pysanky) are world-renowned for their beauty and deep layers of symbolism: each figure painted on such an egg holds a different message. The sun represents luck, deer health; chickens stand for the fulfillment of wishes, and floral designs for love. (Such eggs are also popular in other Slavic lands). In Germany, similar eggs are hung by children from branches, much like Christmas ornaments. Hot cross buns, usually eaten for breakfast on Good Friday especially, were used as evil-thwarting charms, symbols of the light of the sun defeating darkness. Maundy Thursday, the Thursday before Easter, was the date of the Last Supper, and historically kings and other rulers would wash the feet of the people on that day. It is a day to express humility, much as Palm Sunday is observed in Italy, where people resolve long-standing disputes. The theme of humility is seen in a record from 1307, when England's King Edward I gave out hundreds of Easter eggs, some covered in gold, as gifts.
The use of eggs in Easter also has historically practical foundations. Lent had a large number of banned practices, and as a period of fasting, eggs were one of the foods banned. As a result, eggs laid while Lent was in progress were boiled, salted, pickled and otherwise preserved. When Easter finally dawned there was a glut, providing a ready supply for fun and games, and a lot of new chicks as well, hatched from the unconsumed eggs, giving rise to the image of ducklings and chicks we associate with Easter. The excess eggs -- and lack of other recreation in the dour Lenten season -- also helped to develop the Pysanky practice. Women carefully pricked a small hole in each end of the shell of an egg, laboriously taking out the yolks without damaging the surface, and then spent hours with wax and paint.
Easter eggs in Germany are called "Dingeier" -- eggs that are "owed" as gifts to children. As with Halloween ("trick or treat"), the coals for bad children at Christmas, and wrapping paper there is a mischievous element to the giving of Easter eggs. In many places, the eggs are hidden before a competitive egg-hunt, and the general tone of fun mischief is reflected in children's nursery rhymes from all across Europe. One from Austria contains something of a threat:
"We sing, we sing the Easter song:
God keep you healthy, sane and strong.
Sickness and storms and all other harm
Be far from folks and beast and farm.
Now give us eggs, green, blue and red;
If not, your chicks will all drop dead."
The association of the Easter season with children is also reflected in an old superstition: children born on Good Friday would be baptized on Easter Sunday, and would carry with them the lifelong gift of healing.
The "Pennsylvania Dutch" German pioneers started the Easter bunny concept in the United States, where hares were said to miraculously lay eggs at Easter. Germany was also the home of the first chocolate Easter bunnies and eggs.
Fig pudding and fig pie is the special dessert on Palm Sunday in England, where the day is also known as Fig Sunday. Figs stand for fertility in European esoteric symbolism. Greeks eat fish on the day; the fish predates the cross as an early Christian symbol, with the Greek word for fish, ICTHS, meaning Jesus Christ, son of God, savior. The fish, representing the esoteric element of water, is also a symbol of sacrifice, holding as it does a place "between heaven and earth."
Welsh people call Easter Day Sul y Blodau -- Flowering Sunday. The Welsh national flower, the daffodil, is a symbol of the rising sun.
Germans decorate poles with streamers and flowers for Easter, the poles being related to male generative powers.
In many parts of Southern and Eastern Europe, the Holy Saturday before Easter Sunday is filled with the smell of cooking as people prepare special dishes for the feast to come.
The dawn services of Easter Day in many churches are again reflective of the general solar aspect of the season. In England people climb local hills to greet the new day, while the "Easter bonnet" is reflected in the custom of wearing new clothes -- again, the idea of new life springs eternal.
Easter Monday is a day of games -- soccer in England, and egg shackling, knocking hardboiled eggs together, across the European-derived world.
Aware parents of European descent increasingly take important cultural events like the Easter season as a chance to teach their children about the value of our people.
Good Friday and European Tradition
British Schools to Snub Easter
News Source: Norma Jackson