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How would you explain Easter without referreing it to as the ressurection of Christ?

I've a 3 1/2 year old. Being a single mother and due to my financial situation I live with my super religious parents. I've already given in to allowing my mom to take her for "Sunday School" most because I thought she could meet other children there. With the upcoming Easter holidays I'm begining to wonder how I can explain to my daughter what Easter is without bringing religion in to it. I'm sure she will get a religious explanation in church but I'd like to counter that with a non-religious one. Mostly, I just want her to think for herself and ask questions. I live in a small city in India and other than my brother I have yet to meet another atheist. I've met a lot of people who say "I don't believe in god" simply because they are angry at god because things didn't go as planned not because they really question his existence.

Any suggestions would be more than welcome!

JenniferRoberts 4 Mar 11

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76 comments (51 - 75)

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It's a celbration of the new life of spring. show her new green grass, show her birds nesting.

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Easter was originally the celebration of Ishtar, the Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility and sex. Her symbols (like the egg and bunny) were and still are fertility and sex symbols (or did you actually think eggs and bunnies had anything to do with the resurrection?)

you didn't answer her question. congratulations.

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My favorite youtube clip on religion...

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It should be no problem to explain the children's story of its light-hearted fantasy, being the Easter Bunny and egg decorations, Anything more (as like Christmas with Santa Claus) can either be avoided or if asked by a child - wait for an appropriate age when they can understand the various traditions that are religious affiliated. One thing that many don't actually know from ancient Greek history: the rabbit and decorated eggs were representative of Pagan symbols of sex and fertility.

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Easter is a Pagan celebration, holy day or not. The Catholics grabbed every nature celebration that came their way and "incorporated" each into a pill to innoculate humans into believers

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Just another celebration of Spring in the northern hemisphere. Many traditional cultures celebrate their New Year around this time.

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It's a pagan fertility ritual. Made to honor the goddess Esterk

[en.wikipedia.org]

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I see two choices: first as a celebration of spring and rebirth, or second, the fairy tale "Easter Bunny", etc.

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The spring equinox.

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Pagan Fertility ritual. And candy. Lots of candy.

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How would I explain Easter? OK, let's try this in a way that every child will believe it and it fits together. When they took Jesus down from the cross there was a rabbit. He wasn't afraid and he bothered everybody. He wanted to make a bunny trail. Then they put Jesus in the tomb and somebody slit the rabbit's throat and threw him in there too. A guard said "silly rabbit ." no wait. That is something else again.
Then Jesus and the rabbit went off to basic training together. Then they came back.They became good friends and the rabbit had a basket full of eggs. Jesus smiled and carried the rabbit and his basket around everywhere. Eggs were given to the faithful if they could find them. Each year people would watch closely just to see what Jesus and the rabbit were going to do.
But if they see their shadow . . . . . . . . . .

Or just tell them the truth.

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Btw, we are part of a Unitarian Universalist congregation. The UU church in Detroit (where we used to live) was mostly Humanist. Our new congregation in has more Catholics, but the teachings are all secular. The Religious Education program for children helps to explain a lot of this. You might want to find a UU congragation near you. You could take your daughter to Sunday School on your own terms without coming out to your family right away.

Do they tell the kids the truth? That is was the pagan goddess Oestre's fertility festival hijacked by the christians?

@GoldenDoll yes they do! My son is only 4, but my friend's kids are older and preparing for their coming of age ceremonies. It's very uplifting to hear them discuss what they've leaned. Two already identify as Atheist, and one identifies as polytheistic. All their own choice.

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How about the Easter Bunny ? There are certainly enough celebrations about him at Easter.

Bunnies and eggs are fertility symbols. You can't beat rabbits when it comes to that subject.

@Leafhead The old joke goes: "You can beat your wife, and you can beat your meat, but if you beat your rabbit, it dies."

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AprIl Fool's Day !!

Ungod Level 6 Mar 13, 2018

April Fools Day is a Christian spoof on the old Pagan Calandar which began on the Equinox.
Christians eat everything. They absorb all they encounter. They are the Borg

I just like that THIS YEAR they are one and the same!

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Easter Bunny, Jelly Beans and colored eggs

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Oops. New phone + fat fingers = "yur"

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"It's a stupid holiday that you don't even get a day off for. No, you may not have that giant chocolate bunny."

Well, SPRING BREAK is a country-wide gas... And anyone in the education systems, or who worked with schooled kids did get quite a break - 2nd in duration only to summer (of course) and Xmas!

@Ungod Lol, I like that better than my explanation. 🙂

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Talk about the easter bunny and the colored eggs. That makes more sense than the nonsense of a man rising from the dead.

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4 days of public holidays and all the damn tourists turn up and clutter our beaches making lots of mess and noise as if they own the place. But some people worship the chocolate gods.

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At 3.5 years old, you'll have to keep it pretty simple, but it's good that you can work on a strategy for upcoming holidays as she gets older. You might explain that Easter is a time for telling lots of different kinds of stories about being energized by spring time. Your parents like stories they learn in church, you might like to tell stories about baby animals and flowers coming into bloom, or feeling happy about all your favorite things you like to do outdoors, or what have you. Hopefully you can find in your library or order some secular easter books to read to her?

When I was explaining holidays to my kids I used this approach. We hung easter eggs from the trees in our yard, planted flower seeds, had a feast to celebrate spring. We did have easter egg hunts with relatives religious and not.

I think if any religious folks complain about celebrating in a more secular way, you've got the facts behind you that Oeaster was historically before Easter and they should be glad you're not calling them on that nor complaining about the way they are celebrating in church.

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I told my kids easter was a celebartion of spring. that we clebrated with chocolate bunnies. Which is what we did.

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I taughter my daughter Eostre.... The bringing of new life... Plants, animals, a new beginning of life.

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Esotre the celebration of spring solstice. Christians stole it for easy conversion. The rabbit was the symbol. I don’t know where the egg came from. Maybe the breeding season.

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The history of where it came from.

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The first Sunday after Passover.

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