Night-gaunt.unfortunately true. In ancient Babylon (Sumerian era and later) it was a fertility fest to Ishtar. In other parts of Sumer, it was to Inanna the goddess of war and love. Like the other “gods” and “goddesses”, the ideas got around. Ishtar was Astart and Ashtoreth in the the near East, Aphrodite to the Greeks, Hathor to the Egyptians or perhaps Bast (the Egyptians had several deities in a similar role and the Bubastis festival made Roman practices seem tame with Herodotus estimating that as many as 700,000 would show up to “party”), Venus to the Romans, etc. I don’t remember the Hindu equivalent.
.What happened to change the date was that an antisemitic pope (I forget which now) didn’t like the original date of Passover because it was Israelite and changed it to the easter date. (The passover begins on the 14th/15th of the month of Nissan, every year.) Nothing like hating someone and then changing a date for a holy day to one based on a pagan orgy. Blech..Solomon was called wise, but the idiot put up shrines to the multiple pagan gods and goddesses of his 700 wives and 300 concubines. The hills around Jerusalem must have been really crowded. Thus he set the stage for the yukkier practices of the cults of molech and other nasties. The Asherah pole (sometimes “groves” of such poles) was a pole of wood in a shape of a phallus. And the cultists did what you might expect in such “groves.” The Lord wasn’t happy about that and Israel never did recover completely, even after they threw off the pagan stuff.
Nov 6, 2015