Easter?

General discussions
aiseiri47
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 177
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:25 pm

Easter?

Post by aiseiri47 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:10 am

Just out of curiosity - how many of you celebrate Easter? Why do you choose to celebrate or not celebrate? In what way do you alter your celebrations because of atheism, and how do they compare with Christian traditions overall?
Jon
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 88
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 12:01 am

Re: Easter?

Post by Jon » Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:46 am

Personally, I don't see anything to "celebrate". I suppose it's nice to have a day off but one does have to balance this with the fact that the pubs are shut on the Friday which, if you work for a company that doesn't give the Friday off, means you can't engage in a far more meaningful celebration of getting pissed after work.

I know it's a religious site, but take a look at http://www.religioustolerance.org/easter1.htm. As can bee seen, Easter is yet another one of the Christian "observances" hi-jacked from pagans, etc. Not that I would advocate worship of gods from the times of the Roman Empire, at least they had a bit of fun, what with orgies and everything, during their festivals but there's not much sign of that since Christianity took them over.

I also don't "celebrate" Christmas. I do exchange a small number of presents and non-religious cards but, again, the Christians hi-jacked a number of winter festivals involving over-indulgance and present giving (read The Atheist's Guide to Christmas).

I think the best thing to do is to accept that you've got a bit of extra time off and do what you want to do with it be it getting out to the great outdoors, going to the off-licence the day before Good Friday and getting pissed or stuffing your face with chocolate. It's a bit late now, but maybe next year, for Lent you could give up going easy on the religious and ask them to consider why they stopped believing in Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy but continued to believe in a old guy with a white beard living in the sky.

Hope that helps.
"Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things; One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love."
Butch Hancock
bipedalhumanoid
Posts: 2675
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:55 pm

Re: Easter?

Post by bipedalhumanoid » Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:36 am

It may be counter-intuitive, there being such a high number of 'catholics' in Ireland compared to my home country of Australia, but my experience is that Easter seems to be celebrated more in Australia than it is here. Good Friday isn't even a public holiday in Ireland whereas it is in Australia. My extended family in Australia have a gathering every year on Good Friday. Sometimes we had a BBQ on the beach and went fishing. There was always fresh seafood on offer even if we didn't catch any. Easter Sunday is a gathering of immediate family, leftover seafood and another BBQ at home.

To my catholic Irish family, Easter is just another long weekend. The kids get easter eggs of course, but there aren't any scheduled gatherings of any kind.

To me, Easter is quite meaningless. I use it to catch up on spring cleaning and maintaining my house.
"The fact of your own existence is the most astonishing fact you will ever have to face. Don’t you ever get used to it." - Richard Dawkins... being shrill and offensive again I suppose.
Beebub
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 1014
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:22 pm

Re: Easter?

Post by Beebub » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:10 am

We do easter egg hunts with the kids, but it annoys me a bit. As kids we were rewarded with easter eggs having given up sweets for lent. For many reasons giving stuff up as a kid, particularly sweets is a good idea, but we don't do lent wih our kids. So our kids are not being rewarded for anything with all the eggs. Secondly, they get waaaay too much chocolate. So it's rationed. They certainly don't get to eat chocolate every day, not anything like it, so this year (eldest of 3 is 7) is the first year we had not easter eggs left over from last year and only just.

Thirdly, I get Christmas. We celebrate it as it's a very nice thing to do and it's something that was done long before the big JC came along, so Christmas doesn't bother me at all. But Easter means nothing. It's just another weekend. By giving the kids egss and doing egg hunts (not something we did as kids, is it new here??), it just reinforces catholic and christian dogma onto them. They've no idea what it means and they hear Happy Easter on TV, bu I'd love to do away with it. My folks gave them books as I had said they get too much chocolate, but they're atheists too, so in many ways I'd love for them to do nothing. But they'll never do that because the in-laws always provide a mountain of chocolate and my folks would feel very mean not indulging them in some way.

The Mrs. is a much an atheist as me, but she likes the egg hunt etc. When you see them running around in a sugar induced haze scambling to find chocolate, though, it's hard to argue!

It'sa difficult one.
bipedalhumanoid
Posts: 2675
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:55 pm

Re: Easter?

Post by bipedalhumanoid » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:51 am

Beebub wrote: Thirdly, I get Christmas. We celebrate it as it's a very nice thing to do and it's something that was done long before the big JC came along, so Christmas doesn't bother me at all. But Easter means nothing. It's just another weekend. By giving the kids egss and doing egg hunts (not something we did as kids, is it new here??), it just reinforces catholic and christian dogma onto them.
I don't really understand how easter eggs reinforce catholic dogma any more than christmas presents.

Both events have pagan origins. Both events could be seen as "a nice thing to do" if you make them "a nice thing to do". If Christmas has more meaning for you than Easter it's because you give it that meaning. There's nothing christian about following the pagan tradition of celebrating fertility by giving eggs on the equinox. Eating loads of chocolate at easter time is just as secular and commercial as giving christmas presents at christmas time.
"The fact of your own existence is the most astonishing fact you will ever have to face. Don’t you ever get used to it." - Richard Dawkins... being shrill and offensive again I suppose.
aiseiri47
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 177
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:25 pm

Re: Easter?

Post by aiseiri47 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:15 am

Thanks, Jon; but I'm actually familiar with the pagan roots of Easter. Was just curious to see if others had adapted Easter or just abandoned it ;)


And I like this point, bipedalhumanoid:
There's nothing christian about following the pagan tradition of celebrating fertility by giving eggs on the equinox. Eating loads of chocolate at easter time is just as secular and commercial as giving christmas presents at christmas time.
When I ask people what they think their eggs have to do with the Resurrection of Christ, they tend to mumble something about eggs being a source life and thus rebirth. These people forget that things that come out of eggs are being born for the first time, not resurrected from the dead. The best answer I ever got was that the egg is a symbol of life, and it is also round, symbolising eternity. Still a very shady answer - but I think it was pretty good considering the egg doesn't have anything to do with the religious observance and this person did a reasonably good job of connecting two unrelated things.

Personally, I believe in chocolate to passionately to give up Easter. And let's be honest, Cadbury's and Mars own Easter. It's one holiday commercialisation that doesn't bother me - not because I don't respect the holiday itself, but because without said commercialisation, we wouldn't have the kind of selection of eggs that we do. (Of course, if you look at German Easter, it is beautiful and much more natural; easter eggs are available but they're much more traditional and home-made looking, without "Dairy Milk" plastered all over everything.) I think part of the reason I enjoy getting Easter eggs so much is that for most of my life I lived overseas and Cadbury's style easter eggs could not be gotten except for overpriced at specialty import stores. It was very much something I knew of, but couldn't have, and most certainly missed. Since moving back to Ireland, I'm not a kid anymore, but the excitement of getting an egg on Easter has not worn off because I've only been back in the game for a few years.

(And you certainly won't find me getting drunk; aside from having to work on Easter Monday, I don't drink. I find alcohol to be no less a harmful opiate to the masses than religion is, itself.)

Aside from being a chocophile, I've decided to embrace some of the pagan spirit of Easter and celebrate the concept of spring, birth and new beginnings. Not one for the mechanical, usually unachievable resolutions of the New Year - deciding to make a change because the calendar has ticked over - I try to "plant seeds" for personal growth around Easter time. Make decisions and try to grow into them organically with the spirit of the season spurring me on.
Feardorcha
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 1266
Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 4:28 pm

Re: Easter?

Post by Feardorcha » Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:23 am

We do the chocolate-egg hunting with criptic clues and that's about it.
Not much of a celebration really. I asked herself 'how come oestrogen gets its own special day when testosterone doesn't?
I walked into it of course - "because testosterone has the other 364 days."
Beebub
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 1014
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:22 pm

Re: Easter?

Post by Beebub » Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:38 am

bipedalhumanoid wrote:There's nothing christian about following the pagan tradition of celebrating fertility by giving eggs on the equinox. Eating loads of chocolate at easter time is just as secular and commercial as giving christmas presents at christmas time.
I s'pose.
beandorcha wrote: because testosterone has the other 364 days.
Ha! My little fella asked me the other day when father's day was. Mrs. Bub overheard and said 'Ha! Every day is father's day!'
paolovf
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 257
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:58 pm

Re: Easter?

Post by paolovf » Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:08 pm

This easter I joined this forum.

Easter never meant anything to me and my 'Catholic family' don't mark the occasion other than to buy easter eggs - which kind of seems like it further removes christians from what their supposed to celebrating easter for. Ah well, that's their business and I won't be pointing that out to them. :D

From what I can gather, as some people have mentioned, easter is derived from pagan stories and rituals and seems rather pointless. I will say that I do like the idea of giving up something for a long period of time, as with lent, which I have always found useful and challenging in the past. It does seem convenient just to follow the christian calendar on this one since it ends with the gluttony of cheap easter eggs and a long weekend as a reward!
aZerogodist
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 1280
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 6:04 pm
Location: Co. CORK
Contact:

Re: Easter?

Post by aZerogodist » Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:22 pm

I hate saying it but I kind of forgot that there was some RC (wanna-be) connection to Easter, like all GF means is a day pubs are forced to close, I don't even think about the religion story, I saw a few cars outside a church on GF-night, and I just thought "what on Earth are people going to mass for at this time of night" In all fairness the religion thing has nothing to do with Easter. Imagine a religion that celebrates a Zombie, and that's what it is, like god dies (aka JC) but doesn't die because he can't die, and then comes back to life. I know when your brought up in it, you do question it, but now it is clearly illogical.

For me Easter means the point at which the day is longer than the night, and everything starts growing, more astonomical.
I suppose in past times it marked an end to eating winter rations, wasn't that really what lent was where people had only some foods left, from the previous year.
Atheist Ireland Youtube
HOME RULE not ROME RULE
If I'm your mission shepherd, best give it up, your welcome on my boat..god aren't. -firefly
Irish Federation of Astronomical Societies-links to local clubs & news
Post Reply