Happy Easter! For Christians, Easter Day is one of the most important days of the year, two days after Good Friday, but this festival existed long before the advent of Christianity.
It is on March 21, the vernal equinox, that night and day stand in perfect balance, with light on the increase. It is a time of great fertility, new growth, and newborn animals, and was celebrated as such by Celtic religions, long before Christianity arrived on the scene.
Following the vernal equinox, the next full moon is called the Ostara and is sacred to Eostre, the Saxon Lunar Goddess of fertility. From this come both the word estrogen, whose two symbols were the egg and the rabbit, and the word Easter.
Christians Adopted Pagan Emblems For Easter
As they did with many other already-existing festivals, Christianity adopted these emblems for Easter, which is indeed celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox by most Christians. (Eastern Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter on a different date.)
According to the Bible, Jesus’ death and resurrection occurred around the time of the Jewish Passover, which was celebrated on the first full moon following the vernal equinox. In 325CE the Council of Nicaea established that Easter would be held on the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox. Guess where they got that idea from?
Here are 4 traditional ways for celebrate the season:
Eat leafy green vegetables, dairy foods, and seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower.
Herbs and Flowers
Decorate your home with daffodils, jonquils, violets, gorse, peony, iris, narcissus and all spring flowers.
Infuse your home with the aromas of jasmine, rose, strawberry, and other flowers.
Try planting seeds or starting a herb garden. Take a long walk in nature with no intent other than reflecting on the wonder of nature and Mother Nature and her bounty.
And of course you can also enjoy some Easter bunnies and Easter eggs! Relish the excitement of new beginnings!
Photo Credit: mx caz
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