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The term seemingly derives from the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, Eostre, who was celebrated as she escaped Winter’s harsh clutches. But Eostre wasn’t quite the pagan deity who, we are commonly told, transformed a bird into an egg-laying hare companion, e.g. the forerunner to the Easter bunny.
In fact, the only actual surviving mention of Eostre comes from 8th-century monk the Venerable Bede, whose writings suggest the English people called the fourth month Eosturmonath or Eostre-Month (marking the spring equinox) after the goddess, and feasts were celebrated in her honour.
The Last Supper was the final meal Jesus shared with his disciples before his Crucifixion, when the bread and goblet of wine were dispersed as elements of his own body on the day now known as Maundy Thursday, named from the Latin ‘commandment’ which Jesus gave to his disciples at the meal.
The New Testament gospels are clear that Jesus held the Last Supper; was crucified at Golgotha (Calvary) in Jerusalem (on Good Friday from the Old English ‘guode’ meaning ‘holy’) and resurrected three days later from the tomb in which he had been interred (on Easter Sunday) during preparations for Passover.
Easter is held on the Sunday after the first ecclesiastical full moon (which keeps, more or less, in step with the astronomical Moon) following the vernal (spring) equinox of the northern hemisphere, when the sun is exactly above the equator, and day and night are of almost equal length.
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