The Origin of Easter Paganism – A Chocolate Myth
Easter is the Greek word for Passover, and is one of the most significant holidays of the Christian calendar. It comes as no surprise that Christians mark this important feast with great excitement. The crucifix that was carried by the Israelites in the desert on their way to the Promised Land was replaced by an image of the star, Venus, which was burned on a pyre as a symbol of their death and rebirth as a nation. The New Testament book of Acts records that when the woman looked down at the manger that contained the image of Venus, she knew she would be pregnant.
Christians celebrate Good Friday as the day on which the Crucifix was put to die. It has come to be known as the day of the Lord’s body. This is also the day on which St. Valentine’s Day, who was turned into a saint by his conversion to Christianity, was given the name of Valentine. History tells us that he was stoned on this day by the Romans for refusing to renounce Christ. Christians commemorate this event by giving chocolate cakes and other gifts of love to one another.
The background of the chocolate gift dates back to the ancient Mayan civilization. One of the most popular legends concerning the origins of chocolate relates to the Aztecs. Aztec warriors, it is said, melted chocolate beans on the battlefield and drank it in an effort to gain an elated sense of power. This practice was, of course, not allowed by the priests of the Aztec empire, who frowned upon Aztec indulgences.
But the chocolate beverage did gain some popularity amongst the Spaniards. The drink was made from a cocoa bean called cacao, which was used in religious ceremonies, and believed to ward off evil spirits. When Columbus brought the new world to Europe, he brought along with him the seeds of the cacao bean. He began harvesting the cacao bean and selling it to the European population. Some of these early buyers were of the opinion that the chocolate was good for them, as a cure for their health problems, including heart disease.
It must have been good for them, because the chocolate they were eating provided them with extra energy, gave them more stamina, and gave them the will to accomplish things. This was the start of the long association between chocolate and Christianity. In fact, it became so important that the Catholic Church banned its consumption during the Lenten Season, in order to keep the masses from being overpowered by evil spirits. Other religions also made it a point to abstain from chocolate during that time. So, not only was chocolate deemed to be bad for the health of the people, it was also seen as bad for the souls of those who practiced it.
The second person who started the connection between chocolate and evil doer was Christopher Columbus. When he returned from his voyage of exploration, he took several treasures with him, and among them were chocolates. In addition to that, some were inscribed with an unknown indecipherable symbol. What was this symbol? Why, it can only be understood if one knows that Columbus was going west, in order to find a route to India, and that he was looking for a new way to make a profit by trading in spices.
As time passed, the connection between chocolate and evil got even stronger. When the European economy started to boom again after the World War II, manufacturers started to produce chocolate bars, which could be easily bought by the people, in order to provide them with energy, which would make them strong enough to fight off any diseases that they might come across. Naturally, these companies were aware that the people were going to turn against them for their exploitation of the good-for-evil association, and so they made chocolate bars with the symbol of the cross on them.
When we examine the Easter Sunday myth about the chocolate, we see that there is a lot of truth in this story. We know that chocolate is good for health, and that is why we celebrate Easter on the first Sunday of Lent, when we give thanks to God for the good things he has given us. We also know that chocolate has medicinal benefits, and that ancient civilizations like Egypt, India and China used chocolates as medicine. Finally, we also see that the association between chocolate and evil had been created by Christians, and this is how they made money out of something that was considered sacred. The evil chocolate that the evil people turned into evil symbols was an excellent marketing trick, and Christians are quite good at using symbolism to sell their products!