Friday, March 21, 2008

Ostara offering...

Gracias PetitaBruixaThere are two or three slightly different but more than similar accounts of Ostara and Easter: all revolving round 'new' warmth of the sun, the end of winter; new birth, new growth of plants etc.

Ostara: In ancient Anglo-Saxon myth, Ostara is the personification of the rising sun. In that capacity she is associated with the spring and is considered to be a fertility goddess. She is the friend of all children and to amuse then she changed her pet bird into a rabbit. This rabbit brought forth brightly colored eggs, which the goddess gave to the children as gifts. From her name and rites the festival of Easter is derived. "Ostara." Encyclopedia Mythica from Encyclopedia Mythica Online.

"The Ostara worship was so strong in the Germanic lands that the somewhat similar Christian feast of rebirth and renewal was given the Goddess's name. Bede recounts that the Christian Paschal feast was named after the heathen Goddess Eostre, and so this celebration is still named Easter among the Christians. There is no specific date on which the Ostara feast must be held."

Equinox and Easter are always close: Christians observe "Christ's resurrection from the dead after his death on Good Friday as being synonymous with rebirth and rejuvenation: the symbolic resurrection of Christ is echoed in the awakening of the plant and animal life around us. But if we look more closely at some of these Easter customs, we will see that the origins are surprisingly, well, pagan! Eggs, bunnies, candy, Easter baskets, new clothes, all these "traditions" have their origin in practices which may have little or nothing to do with the Christian holiday." [Witchvox]

11 comments:

Paul said...

Bring on the Pagans I say! Actually it's quite telling that whenever the subject of Easter and Christmas come up with younger members of staff they always mention the Pagan celebrations first and then the Christian ones. I think today is the start of the Persian New Year as well, it's the year 1387.

Span Ows said...

That was yesterday I think. My clients/friends in Iran are on holiday.

(adds 621 to check...yep!)

Span Ows said...

No, you were right, it's today. My client is going to be on holiday until the 5th April!

Paul said...

Well I wasn't sure after I posted it, so thanks for checking. Some great pictures in the Independent about the celebrations in Kabul.

The Great Gildersleeve said...

Always interesting to read of alternative celebrations and putting things into a historic time frame.

Span Ows said...

It also shows how religious leaders down the centuries were always looking for maximum benefit and borrowed bits of prebious/other religions: Zoroastrianism - Judaism - Christianity - Islam etc.

The largely pagan Northern Europe was fertile (hehehe) ground for any educated, power-hungry cult.

Span Ows said...

...as was Africa and the Americas more recently.

Curmy said...

That's very interesting Span .

Span Ows said...

oooer...curmy...I read that in a way that indicates you don't think it's interesting! In a foot-tapping, arms crossed, stern faced, telling-off voice...I hope I'm mistaken!

Curmy said...

Yes you are mistaken Span, it was very interesting !

Span Ows said...

OK Curmy (capital C) thanks!

(thumbs-up smiley)