Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Paschal, pacques, pesach... ostara, Easter, oeufs!!!

So many word derivations for the feast of Easter, as Christians have it, or Pesach, passover as Judaism has it. I love etymology and looking up the origination of a word. So many times you'll come across a serendipitous discovery, and if words are your hardest currency, I'm guessing that you like looking inside a word, seeing where it's come from, where it's been and who it's met on the way. Google: a girl's best friend (closely followed by nice underwear, red wine, chocolate and possibly a... ahem, I forgot where I was!) Anyway...!

Paschal: the candle lit
over Easter ceremonies
in churches, replacing
the mourning purple.
Tall, widely girthed,
and creamy white
lit by a wavering taper,
held up to it by the fat
priest on tippy toes.

I'm only writing this, because Minx' post about Ostara reminded me of that older pagan feast, which I'd guess had been absorbed by the early Celtic Church as it inveigled its way into peoples' lives, using what was there already to bind people into the budding religion... okay, 'nuff of that for now!

What I'm wondering now is how to get from Paschal to Oeufs in only six degrees of separation...? Any takers? :)

6 comments:

Shameless said...

Yes, there are loads of words I wonder about, how they made their way down the centuries. Google indeed. Funny how no other search engine really does it for me.

Jan said...

Wonderful image of tippytoed priest with wavering taper...loved it.

apprentice said...

Would that be a separation of the whites and yolks?

It was the hare that used to be sacred in pagan times, hence all the bunny references today. I prefer the hare, it's much more mysterious.

The tippy toed priest reminds me of seeing a tiny Greek Orthodox priest outside his equally tiny church , which was on the top of hill on a beautiful island.

Debi said...

Yes - tippy toes priest is great.

Pesach is Hebrew for Passover (as in angel of death 'passing over' Israelite homes during final plague - killing of first born).

It's also been the traditional hunting season against Jews for anti-Semites across the centuries. (Cos we killed Jesus didn't we????) Presumably these hunters have forgotten that the last supper was the first night of Passover which JC was celebrating at the time ...

Cailleach said...

Funny you should mention that Debi, I was watching that 'Exodus' programme that James Cameron was involved with. It gives some interesting ideas and co-relations between the biblical and some archeological excavations... but that's a whole other story!

Apprentice - mad march hares indeed! Something more visceral about them, than the fluffy domesticated cousins (?) ;)

Shameless, glad to see that you share that word-wonder too :)

And thanks Jan, and everyone else on the tippytoe priest... :)

SilverTiger said...

As a lover of etymology, you probably know that "Easter" is not a Christian word. The Christians simply stole it as they stole everything else.

It comes from the Anglo-Saxon "Eostre", which was the name of their goddess who represented the rebirth of the world after the winter. That is why there are so many eggs, chicks and bunnies about at Easter: they are fertility symbols appropriate to the Anglo-Saxon festival but not to the Christian myth.