Easter is well-documented to have been influenced by the pre-Christian religions of Europe and the Middle East, but what about Good Friday? Learn about what sort of influence ancient civilizations and their religions had on the day Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Christ here.

It's important to note that the Easter season is celebrated in the spring, a particularly important time for early humans because of the spring equinox. In 2018, the spring equinox occurred at 12:15 p.m. EDT on March 20 in the northern hemisphere. During this time, the sun moved directly over the earth's equator and signaled the first day of the astronomical spring, versus the meteorological spring. These are the two ways to measure the seasons: the astronomical way reflects natural phenomena to mark time, while the meteorological way is based on the annual temperature cycle as well as our 12-month calendar.

The meteorological spring begins on March 1, and the meteorological spring always occurs during the vernal equinox, which occurs on March 19, 20, or 21 every year, writes DateAndTime.com. The spring equinox is one of the four seasonal astronomical events that affect the earth. The others include the summer solstice, the autumnal equinox, and the winter solstice.

An equinox is very different than a solstice. "Equinox” is derived from Latin and means “equal night.” "Solstice" is also derived from Latin and means "sun stopped," reflecting how the sun reaches its highest position in the sky.

Easter and April Fools' Day are both ancient holidays steeped in pagan customs. April Fools' Day derives from the ancient Roman religious festival Hilaria, which was celebrated on the spring equinox. During Hilaria, Romans honored Cybele, an Anatolian mother goddess mother adopted into the Roman pantheon of gods via Greece. Cybele also had a son/lover named Attis, who committed suicide by castrating himself before a forced marriage to someone else. To honor Attis' life, Cybele made it so his corpse would never decay. Every spring, Attis would be "reborn" with the spring vegetation. To celebrate Attis, "participants would dress in disguise at the event at the end of March," writes The Telegraph.

Hilaria is where we derive the word “hilarious."

Similar themes can be seen in the Bible with Jesus Christ and the story of his resurrection. A lot of other ancient gods and goddesses also have a similar springtime resurrection story, including Baal, Melqart, Adonis, Tammuz, Dionysus, Ishtar, Persephone, and Bari. Even more amazingly, there have been at least sixteen "crucified saviors" in the history of mankind, according to The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors: Or Christianity Before Christ.

good friday pagan historyAn ancient Roman silver coin picturing Quirinus on the obverse, and Ceres enthroned on the reverse.

The closest "crucified god" to Jesus is Quirinus, an early god of the Roman state. Quirinus is believed to have been crucified in 506 B.C. and, according to legend, was also born of a virgin.

PBS News Hour/YouTube

The White House Counsel is a staff appointee of the President and Vice President of the United States. Their role is to advise the President on all legal issues concerning the President and their administration.

Pat Cipollone has served as the current White House Counsel for President Donald Trump since December 2018.

Keep reading...
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

In the current political landscape of the United States, you'd be hard-pressed to find any issue that Americans on which both sides of the ideological spectrum agree.

But it turns out that even on an issue as divisive as the impeachment of President Donald Trump, Republicans and Democrats agree on something.

Keep reading...
ABC News

President Donald Trump's impeachment trial began in earnest in the Senate on Tuesday afternoon.

Shortly after House impeachment manager, Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA), laid out the evidence against the President unveiled by House Democrats, one of Trump's defense attorneys—Jay Sekulow—asked a question in his rebuttal.

Keep reading...
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Things are heating up in the Senate as the long-awaited Senate trial in the impeachment of President Donald Trump is set to begin on Tuesday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will officially propose a resolution that will set the rules for the trial. He released the proposed rules Monday afternoon.

Keep reading...
Drew Angerer/Getty Images // Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

To commemorate the life and legacy of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the holiday named after him, many lawmakers participated by volunteering in their communities as a day of service.

President Donald Trump was not one of those people.

Keep reading...

As millions of Americans commemorated the legacy of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., presidential counsellor Kellyanne Conway railed against the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, set to begin in the Senate on Tuesday.

The President, who leaves for the World Economic Forum in Davos on Monday night, has no public plans to commemorate Martin Luther King Day, prompting reporters to ask Kellyanne how he intended to celebrate.

Keep reading...