OSTARA: CEREMONY OF SPRING
I woke up this morning thinking, “isn’t there a festival day coming up? Yes and it is tonight! Ostara is a spring European celebration of rebirth, new life and fresh beginnings. Ostara celebrates the new growth of spring: green trees, flowers emerging, babies born, love in bloom and the general joy of warmer weather! In the Southern hemisphere the date is 22nd of September, though most of these festivals are held on the eve of the night before, so have your celebration the 21st of September Make a feast of fresh vegetables and create affirmations of what you want to achieve over the active warmer months. It is basically a dinner with family or friends. Give thanks for what you have.
This festival has eggs as its key symbol – imagine birds sitting on their eggs, waiting for them to hatch. This pagan festival became wildly celebrated when it was adopted by Christianity and assimilated with Christ’s death and rebirth and called Easter. Though many admonish Christianity for lost information about their cultural heritage, Christian monks, emperors and historians wrote about many early nature religions therefore saving vital information.
Ostara or Easter is a well-known celebration and most faiths will have a celebration of new seasonal growth – it is clearly part of our instincts to feel the coming of spring.
Traditionally children and adults painted hollowed eggs and hung them on branches inside the home or decorated the house with them. Because Ostara had a strong tradition in colder northern countries laden with ice and snow, spring was an immense relief. When these same regions started to manufacture chocolate by importing cocoa beans, chocolate eggs were created and remain a modern day favourite! If you have time it is always nice to get back to basics and paint some craft eggs or a draw a picture of spring. Traditional colours are yellow, pink, white, mauve, light green. Use these themes to decorate your feast table and put some world music on; then serve the food, poor the wine and celebrate spring.
Sharon D Bush
Writer Historian Artisan Sage