Ostara the Spring Equinox

Ostara was an important day to the ancient Greeks, Romans, Nordic and Germanic people. The Celtic lands didn’t pay much attention until the Nordic invasions when the two cultures influenced each other. Thus the way we understand the traditions stories, customs, and practices today is primarily derived from the Teutonic practices. Ostara is the Germanic virgin Goddess of Spring. The Teutonic Goddess Eostre also honored at this time is the name from which Christians derived Easter. It is at this time the Norse celebrate the mating of their virgin Goddess to the young God (which many other cultures observe at Beltane).
Many of the myths surrounding Ostara are about the journey of their Gods to the underworld and their return to the upper realms from the Land of the Dead. The symbolism of their new life is what inspires the meaning of this day. Some of the Gods who made this journey are Odin, Attis, Osiris, Dagda, Mithras, Orpheus, Hera, Persephone, and Jesus. With the trade routes, invasions, mixing of customs and today’s global information, the customs of Ostara have merged and blended especially with the Christianization of the Holidays.

Customs and Traditions

Feasts and festivals celebrating the new spring growth, wearing new cloths (Teutonic tradition of preparing new, elegant cloths), the sacrifice and consumption of lamb, the decorating and giving of eggs (from the legend of the rabbit that laid and decorated sacred eggs to give to Eostre). In her pleasures of this gift, she gave them to the world and he continued this year after year. Egg hunts became popular in the U.S. by President Lincoln, however it has origins in India and China where the belief that it is symbolic that people are responsible for themselves, and we must find our own path to the new life.

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