Friday, April 6, 2012

The Spring Holiday

The Spring Equinox is associated with, or known as: Easter, Alban Eilir, The Feast Weeks and of the Passover, Eostar, Eostre, Feast of Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Festival of Trees, Lady Day, NawRuz, No Ruz, Ostara, Ostra, Rites of Spring, the Vernal Equinox and 'Spring Break'.

There are two times of the year when the days and nights are about equal (12 hours long - depending how close you are to the equator). Depending on the side of the planet you're living on, it's a time for sewing or a time for reaping. And then there are the religious celebrations that date back into antiquity that also fall in this time period.

Historical Reference: As you might be able to tell, the name “Easter” was likely derived from Eostre, the name of the Anglo-Saxon lunar goddess, as was as the name for the female hormone estrogen. Eostre’s feast day was held on the first full moon following the vernal equinox — a similar calculation as is used for Easter among Western Christians. On this date the goddess Eostre is believed by her followers to mate with the solar god, conceiving a child who would be born 9 months later on Yule, the winter solstice which falls on December 21st. Because I was born in this (December) time period of the year, I suspect that my parents celebrated Easter in their own special way...

Two of Eostre’s most important symbols were the hare (both because of its fertility and because ancient people saw a hare in the full moon) and the egg, which symbolized the growing possibility of new life. Each of these symbols continues to play an important role in modern celebrations of Easter. 

From a personal perspective, there is a family tradition that we all gather and sing "Oschter Hawslein", which is the song that my great grandmother taught his children in Switzerland in the early part of the last century. The song purportedly brings the Easter Bunny to your home to bring candy, the beginnings of a Spring wardrobe and so forth. I don't know how long Niederhausers in Derendingen, Bern, Switzerland have been singing that song, but that family lived there (based on government records) back as early as 1400. 

So from my family to yours, Frohe Oschter Gruß!!

Take it as an excuse to indulge in good food, too much chocolate and to be with friends and family.


WoFat said...

Most Christian holidays were celebrated at the same time of pagan ones, so the Christians could drum up a following. Thus we get the birth of Christ being celebrated in the Winter instead of where it said to have been, in June. Or whenever.

Opus #6 said...

Happy Eostar!

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