Ostara is a celebration that marks the arrival of Spring. During this time, the Earth starts to make changes in preparation for the growing season ahead. The ground becomes warmer, the first signs of new life begin to emerge from the soil; buds may even form on some trees. Ostara is the ancient Pagan holiday that later also blossomed into the Christian holiday Easter. There are many ancient cultures and religions that honor renewal and mark the Vernal equinox.
Ostara is a celebration of the fertility of the Earth and is celebrated during the Vernal equinox, when day and night are the same length, marking the end of Winter and the first day of Spring. Symbolically, it is seen as a return to harmony and as a time to celebrate fertility. In the Northern hemisphere, the vernal equinox occurs in March; in the Southern hemisphere it happens in September.
Ostara Traditions & History
The Spring equinox has always help great significance in many of the Earth’s ancient cultures. The Great Sphinx in Egypt directly faces the rising Spring equinox sun. It was celebrated as a time of resurrection of the Egyptian god Osiris. The temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia also aligns to the Spring Equinox and marks the struggle between the forces of light and dark. In Christianity, this period marks the time of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
Regardless of the tradition, the spiritual lessons are similar. This time of year is seen as a battle between light and dark, where the light eventually triumphs, ensuring immortality. It is a good time to focus on renewal in life, to release the things that hold us back and to embrace new beginnings and fresh starts. This symbolism can also depict what we go through on our spiritual journeys, finding our way through the darkness and emerging as a spiritually awakened being.
Many traditions we participate in today have their roots in Ostara. Painting and dying eggs for example is found in ancient Pagan mythology. Eggs are symbols of creation and represent the cycles of nature. Spring traditions in the past included collecting wild eggs, dying and painting, and burying them in the Earth. Burying eggs was believed to increase the fertility of the land.
Rabbits and lambs are also traditional symbols of Ostara. Lambs represent purity and new potential. Rabbits are a symbol of abundance and fertility.
Another common practice was the gathering of herbs during Ostara. It was believed that magical herbs hold the most power on this day.
This time of year is steeped in rich tradition. No matter how you choose to honor it, allow the wisdom to help you grow and flourish. The wisdom of the Sun, Earth and cycles has had a profound impact on all cultures throughout history. When you honor the cycles of the Sun; you give reverence to the history of humanity as a whole.