Senior History lecturer at Rhodes University, Vashni Jagernath shares the history behind Easter and how the festival once viewed as a pagan ritual in the United States has now evolved into the celebration of death and resurrection in Christianity.
Like most rituals and cultural practices, it comes from a variety of areas and is actually not wasp, as they would like us to think...— Vashni Jagernath , Senior lecturer in the Department of History at Rhodes University
Easter is tied to the Spring Festival and the spring equinox, that's why it's a movable feast, its after the first full moon of the Spring. It's also interestingly enough tied to pass over which is the liberation of Jews from slavery.— Vashni Jagernath , Senior lecturer in the Department of History at Rhodes University
Christianity at its heart and when it is at its best, is a religion of assimilation, syncretism.... what happens then is that they map it onto pre existing festivals, so Easter and Christmas both are tied to pre existing festivals.— Vashni Jagernath , Senior lecturer in the Department of History at Rhodes University
Jagernath further explains how the event can be used as a day of reflection for those who do not practice Christianity.
Often we are re-inscribing colonial narratives.... we are just taking on the other side of the debate and saying oh you said its European so we believe you and now we are going to take it on, without realising its actual deep history on this continent.— Vashni Jagernath , Senior lecturer in the Department of History at Rhodes University
Click below to listen to the full interview.....
This article first appeared on 702 : The history of Easter as a moveable feast