The following article has been copied from ucg.org and updated to reflect the true names of the Father and Son. There have been a couple of other items added in to help clarify it further for the reader.
While millions assume these customs are Christian, nowhere in Scripture are they found being practiced. If Easter and its traditions don’t come from Holy Scripture, where did they originate?
They in fact emerged from ancient paganism. The English word Easter is derived from the Old English term Eostre or Ostara, the name of the goddess of the spring, the dawn and fertility. Over 1,000 years before the birth of Yahshua, pagan people reveled in festivals to this and other pagan gods and goddesses that included sex rituals and even orgies. These festivities occurred around the time of the spring equinox when the sun’s rays brought warmth and life to the earth following the cold and darkness of winter.
Easter and its customs have pagan roots
In pagan cultures, eggs often symbolized fertility and reproduction. For example, the ancient Druids in Britain and Gaul (modern-day France), were said to dye eggs and bury them in the newly plowed fields in late winter to encourage fertility and prosperity. As to the Easter bunny, in ancient times rabbits, as a rapidly breeding mammal, were valued as a sign of producing offspring. In addition, the Easter sunrise service has roots in the pagan ritual of prostrating before the rising sun. This is much like the solar calendar that the world uses today.
16 So He brought me into the inner court of the Lord’s house; and there, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs toward the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east, and they were worshiping the sun toward the east.Ezekiel
How did Easter and its customs become infused into traditional Christianity? It was due to the rise of misguided, compromising teachers who appropriated heathen spring rituals and deceptively applied them to Christ’s resurrection.
8 Beware lest anyone [e]cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.Colossians 2:8
30 take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ 31 You shall not worship Yahuwah Elohim in that way; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.Deuteronomy 12:30-32
32 “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.
Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words states that Easter was
“introduced into the apostate Western religion, as part of the attempt to adapt pagan festivals to Christianity” (1985, “Easter,” pp. 344-345, emphasis added throughout).
Also, author James Frazer wrote:
“When we reflect how often the [mainstream] Church has skillfully contrived to plant the seeds of the new faith on the old stock of paganism, we may surmise that the Easter celebration of the dead and risen Christ was grafted upon a similar celebration of the dead and risen Adonis” of Greek mythology (The Golden Bough, 1890, p. 345).
Yahshua and His disciples observed the Passover
Yahshua, His disciples never observed Easter or its rituals. Rather, they unfailingly kept the Passover and the Holy Days of the Bible. Although the word “Easter” appears in some translations of Acts 12:4 of the Bible, it is a mistranslation. It always pays to look at the original language as scripture when written in English is a translation, and sometimes those translations bring along ideas of the translator and change what the original text said. The original Greek word in this scripture is Pascha, meaning “Passover,” which most modern Bible versions translate correctly.
Passover, a solemn and sacred annual occasion in ancient Israel, commemorated how Elohim miraculously redeemed and freed the people from slavery in Egypt. On the first Passover evening in Egypt a lamb was slain, roasted and eaten in each Israelite household. Its blood was placed on the lintel and doorposts of their dwellings as a sign of Elohim’s protection from the plague of the death of the firstborn sent in judgment upon Egypt.
The lambs killed on that evening symbolized Yahushua as the future sacrificial “Lamb of Elohim who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). The Messiah accomplished this by voluntarily offering Himself as a sacrifice with His blood shed so repentant individuals could be spared from eternal, spiritual death.
28 For this is My blood of the [d]new covenant, which is shed for many for the [e]remission of sins.Matthew 26:28
On the first New Testament Passover, He used the symbols of unleavened bread and wine to represent His sinless body and His blood, which were sacrificed to cleanse those who repent of their sins and reconcile them to Elohim (Luke 22:19; Ephesians 1:7). As the apostle Paul explained in 1 Corinthians 5:7, Yahushua Himself was represented by the Old Testament lamb sacrifice: “For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.”
6 Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Yahushua, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.1 Corinthians 5:6-8
Yahuhshua kept the Passover throughout His lifetime (Luke 2:41-43; John 2:13; Matthew 26:17-19). And some 25 years after His death and resurrection, the apostles and other members of His Church were still faithfully keeping the Passover (Acts 20:6; 1 Corinthians 5:6-8).
Reject Easter and observe God’s Passover and Holy Days
Elohim told the people of ancient Israel to observe the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread in conjunction with the Passover, as a reminder that He freed them from Egyptian bondage (Leviticus 23:5-8). This is symbolic of the redemption that repentant individuals have from the spiritual slavery of sin as a result of Yahushas sacrifice.
Unleavened bread is symbolic of Yahushua’s sinless life, which those who love Him strive to imitate. As the “bread of life,” Yahushua is at the very center of this festival, just as He is in all of Elohim’s annual Holy Days (John 6:35; Colossians 2:17). He personally observed this feast, as did the apostles (Acts 20:6; 1 Corinthians 5:6-8).
Finally, the truth is that Easter is a deceptive substitute for the Passover and needs to be utterly rejected. Instead, the Passover and Elohim’s yearly seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread must be observed faithfully by all who love Him at this time of year (Luke 22:19; Leviticus 23:6-8).
This is part of what it means to walk with Elohim in faith and obedience—to turn from our old ways, habits and customs and to begin living in accordance with His commandments.
One thing which this article does not speak of, is how work out when passover, unleavened bread and first fruits can be worked out.
The calendar in the scriptures is not a solar one. It is Luni-solar. The months were counted from the sighting of the new moon the evening previous. The day count started from there. There was no need for an international date line. In fact the international date line is a modern thing added in to assist in defining where the years, months and days start. The word month actually comes from the word moon, but over time it has lost its original meaning and the way in which the calendar was determined has also changed.
This makes it difficult for many people to figure out as they have no real understanding of how time was worked out in the beginning.
The day after the sighting of the new moon, the days were counted. Passover was upon the 14th day after the new moon. The Sabbath was upon the 15th day and was the first day of unleavened bread. Then First fruits was upon the 16th day. Unleavened bread went until the end of the 21st day and the Sabbath was the next day, the 22nd.