Mar 31, 2013

Easter light

I may be a nerdy languophile, but on this Easter morning I was wondering why today is called Easter. English and German seem to be the anomaly here, as most European languages use a name derived from the Hebrew pesach (the Jewish holiday of passover, commemorating that the 10th plague passed over the homes of the Jewish people enslaved in ancient Egypt), such as 'pasen' in Dutch.

So it's not because the wise men came from the East - that's another holiday. Apparently 'Easter' is derived from Eostre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of dawn. Not sure if Eostre and East have the same origin, but it seems to make sense to name a dawn goddess after the east, rather than something like Norstre, Weostre, or Sudostre. Although less biblical in origin, GABROEN could certainly see some logic behind the name Easter as we woke up to a stunning sunrise over the San Francisco Bay. Good morning, Miss Eostre. We're happy to see you.

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