What is Ostara?
Ostara is a pagan holiday that celebrates the beginning of spring. It falls on the vernal equinox, which is the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Ostara marks a time of new beginnings, and it is a time to celebrate fertility and growth. Many pagans observe this holiday by performing rituals and gathering with friends and family. In this post, we will discuss the history and meaning of Ostara, as well as some of the customs and traditions associated with it.
What is Ostara and what does it celebrate
The history of Ostara can be traced back to the Germanic peoples. The word “Ostara” is derived from the name of the Germanic goddess who represented the dawn, fertility, and springtime. Her name was Eostre, and she was said to bring new life to the earth after the long winter months. The holiday of Ostara was originally celebrated in late March or early April, and it marked the beginning of spring. It was a time of new beginnings, when the earth began to green and life returned after the darkness and cold of winter.
Ostara was a time of great celebration for the Germanic peoples. They would decorate their homes with greenery and flowers, and they would feast on the first produce of the spring. They would also give thanks to the gods and goddesses for their bounty. The most important symbol of Ostara was the egg, which represented new life. Eggs were often decorated and given as gifts to loved ones.
The Christian holiday of Easter has its roots in the pagan holiday of Ostara. The name Easter is derived from the goddess Eostre, who was associated with Spring. The holiday of Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which Christians believe happened on the third day after his crucifixion. While the Christian holiday of Easter has largely replaced the pagan holiday of Ostara in modern times, some of its traditions, such as decorating eggs, have survived.
Customs and traditions associated with Ostara and Easter:
Decorating eggs – One of the most popular traditions associated with both Ostara and Easter is decorating eggs. In pagan times, eggs were often decorated and given as gifts to loved ones. The tradition of decorating eggs is thought to have originated from the belief that they represented new life.
Egg hunt – This tradition is thought to have originated from the story of Ostara, who is said to have transformed a dead bird into a bunny that could lay eggs. The bunny would then hide these eggs for children to find.
Bunny – The bunny is another symbol that is associated with both Ostara and Easter. This is because the bunny is a symbol of new life and fertility. The bunny is also said to be a friend of Ostara, who helped her to spread her gifts of springtime and new life.
Flowers – Flowers are also associated with Ostara and Easter. This is because they are symbols of new life and growth. Many people believe that the first flower of spring is a sign that Ostara is on her way.
Eggs – Eggs are also associated with both Ostara and Easter. This is because they are symbols of new life and fertility. The egg is also said to be a gift from Ostara to children, who would then decorate them and hide them for others to find.
Chocolate – Chocolate is another popular Easter treat. This is because chocolate is a symbol of wealth and prosperity. Many people believe that eating chocolate at Easter will bring them good luck in the year ahead.
Lamb – The lamb is another common Easter symbol. This is because the lamb is a symbol of new life and innocence. Lambs are also often associated with spring, making them the perfect symbol for Ostara.
Daffodil – The daffodil is a popular Easter flower. This is because they are symbols of new life and growth. Many people believe that the first flower of spring is a sign that Ostara is on her way.
How to celebrate Ostara yourself
There are many ways that you can celebrate Ostara, either on your own or with others. Here are some ideas:
- Spend time outside in nature, and take notice of the signs of spring all around you.
- Plant some flowers or seeds, and watch them grow over the coming weeks and months.
- Make a special Ostara meal, using seasonal ingredients such as lamb, eggs, and green vegetables.
- Decorate your home with fresh flowers, or make an Easter basket filled with springtime treats.
- Take a walk in the woods, and look for signs of new life all around you – budding leaves, baby animals, etc.
- Have an Ostara picnic, and enjoy the warmer weather and longer days.
- Attend a local Ostara festival or gathering, if there is one in your area.
Ideas for Ostara gifts:
It is fun to receive gifts for the Ostara Sabbat. Here are a just a few suggestions with some that you can find right here in the store.
1. A bunch of daffodils or other spring flowers.
2. A chocolate Easter egg or bunny.
3. A book about the origins and history of Ostara and Easter.
4. A Pagan or Wiccan symbol of Ostara, such as a statue of the goddess or a pentacle amulet.
5. A set of Tarot cards featuring Ostara-themed images.
6. An Ostara-themed piece of jewelry, such as a pendant or bracelet adorned with symbols of springtime renewal.
A short prayer or blessing for Ostara:
“May the long days and warm sun bring new life and growth, in ourselves and in the world around us. Blessed be.”
Ostara is a joyful time of year, when we celebrate the return of spring and the renewal of life. It is a time to give thanks for the blessings in our lives, and to look forward to the growth and abundance of the coming months. There are many ways to celebrate Ostara, from simple rituals and activities at home, to attending public festivals and gatherings. Whatever way you choose to celebrate, may your Ostara be filled with happiness, love, and light.