THE PROBLEM OF THE ETIOLOGY OF IMAGES OF THE GODDESSES EOSTRA / OSTARA AND THE HARE IN THE CONTEXT OF EASTER TRADITIONS

Keywords: Easter, Ostara, Eostre, Easter traditions, hare, Easter bunny.

Abstract

The article analyzes a set of well-spread scientific theses about the goddesses Eostre and Ostara, as well as the etiology of the hare in the context of Easter traditions. The research examines the reasons why these theses became incorporated into the Easter traditions. Attention is drawn to the textual data, which call into question Jacob Grimm's hypothesis about the existence of the ancient German goddess Ostara who was seen identical to the Anglo-Saxon goddess of dawn Eostre. The article also analyzes the stages of creating a narrative about the Easter hare as an attribute of the goddess of dawn. Textual data show that this image probably appeared from A. Holtzman's free interpretation, which was firmly established in the German and English-speaking academic environment. The article focuses not only on the fertility of the hare, but also on the popular perception of the hare as a messenger from the afterlife, which gives new life. These examples allow us to detail the etiology of this Easter symbol.

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Published
2020-09-03
How to Cite
Antsybor, D. (2020). THE PROBLEM OF THE ETIOLOGY OF IMAGES OF THE GODDESSES EOSTRA / OSTARA AND THE HARE IN THE CONTEXT OF EASTER TRADITIONS. Studia Methodologica, 50, 113-121. https://doi.org/10.25128/2304-1222.20.50.09