Is Easter Really Named After Ishtar?

Is Easter Really Named After Ishtar?

Although no one is certain where the name Easter comes from, it probably was not named after Ishtar, the Assyrian goddess of love, fertility and war. Instead, it was probably named after the Saxon goddess known as Eastre or Ostra, who was celebrated in the spring.

The holiday called Easter in English was called Pascha by the ancient Romans and, as of 2014, most languages use a variation on that word. English and German are two of the only languages that use a version of the word "Easter," making it likely that it was named after the Saxon goddess. It was common for Christian missionaries to adapt pagan traditions into Christian holidays to attract converts.