Ostara Lore

               Ostara, also known as The Spring or Vernal Equinox, the Festival of Trees,
               Alban Eilir, Ostara, the Rites of Spring, and the Rites of Eostre, occurs
               between March 19 and 21 and marks the first day of true Spring. Day and
               night are equal on this day, hence the name Equinox. It is observed by
               Pagans throughout the world. For Wiccans and Witches, Ostara is a fertility
               festival celebrating the birth of Spring and the reawakening of life from
               the Earth. The energies of Nature subtly shift from the sluggishness of
               Winter to the exuberant expansion of Spring. The Saxon Goddess of fertility,
               Eostre, and Ostara the German Goddess of fertility are the aspects invoked
               at this Sabbat. Some Wiccan traditions worship the Green Goddess and the
               Lord of the Greenwood. The Goddess blankets the Earth with fertility,
               bursting forth from Her sleep, as the God stretches and grows to maturity.
               He walks the greening fields and delights in the abundance of nature.

                The Spring Equinox was Christianized by the Roman Church as were most Pagan
               festivals of old. On the first Sunday after the first full moon following
               the Equinox (or "Eostre's Day" from which the name Easter was derived), the
               Christians celebrates their Easter holiday. The Christian festival
               commemorates the resurrection of Christ, synchronized with the Jewish
               Pesach, and blended since the earliest days of Christianity with pagan
               European rites for the renewed season. It is preceded by a period of riotous
               vegetation rites and by a period of abstinence known as Lent (in Spain
               Cuaresma, Germany Lenz, central Italy, Quaresima) and by special rites of
               Holy Week.
               Everywhere, Easter Sunday is welcomed with rejoicing, singing, candle
               processionals, flowers in abundance, and ringing of church bells. Pagan
               customs such as the lighting of new fires at dawn for cure, renewed life,
               and protection of the crops still survive in the Southern Americas as well
               as in Europe.
               Witches celebrate Ostara in many ways on this sacred day, including lighting
               fires at sunrise, ringing bells, and decorating hard-boiled eggs which is an
               ancient Pagan custom associated with the Goddess of Fertility. In those
               ancient days, eggs were gathered and used for the creation of talismans and
               also ritually eaten. The gathering of different colored eggs from the nests
               of a variety of birds has given rise to two traditions still observed
               today - the Easter egg hunt, and coloring eggs in imitation of the various
               pastel colors of wild birds. It is also believed that humankind first got
               the idea of weaving baskets from watching birds weave nests. This is perhaps
               the origin of the association between colored Easter eggs and Easter
               baskets. The eggs appearing above are a collection of "Pysanky". Pysanky are
               the famous Ukranian Easter eggs, and are powerful amulets for pertility,
               prosperity, and protection. The creation of pysanky is an ancient ritual
               that evolved with the hunter/gatherers of Easter Europe. At one time
               practiced only by women, this tradition has come down to us from our Pagan
               past with its symbolism mostly intact.
               There is much symbolism in eggs themselves. The golden orb of its yolk
               represents the Sun God, its white shell is seen seen as the White Goddess,
               and the whole is a symbol of rebirth.
               What's Up Doc with origins of the "Easter Bunny", so popular with children
               this time of year? The Goddess Eostre's patron animal was the hare. And
               although the references are not recalled, the symbolism of the hare and
               rabbit's associations with fertility are not forgotten.
               The Spring Equinox is a time of new beginnings, of action, of planting seeds
               for future grains, and of tending gardens. Spring is a time of the Earth's
               renewal, a rousing of nature after the cold sleep of winter. As such, it is
               an ideal time to clean your home to welcome the new season. "Spring
               cleaning" is much more than simply physical work. It may be seen as a
               concentrated effort to rid your home of the problems and negativity of the
               past months, and to prepare for the coming spring and summer. To do this,
               many Pagans approach the task of cleaning their homes with positive
               thoughts. This frees the home of any negative feelings brought about by a
               harsh winter. A common rule of thumb for Spring cleaning is that all motions
               involving scrubbing of stains or hand rubbing the floors should be done
               "clockwise". Pagans believe this custom aids in filling the home with good
               energy for growth.
               In Greek mythology, spring marked Persephone's return from the underworld
               (where the seed was planted in the barren winter months). This represents
               the seedlings of the spring. Demeter, Persephone's mother, represents the
               fertile earth and the ripened grain of harvest; it is alleged that she is
               the one that created the need to harvest crops when Hades absconded with her
               daughter to the underworld. Through an arrangement, her daughter could
               return for half the year. Demeter allowed the crops to spring forth until
               Persephone returned to the Underworld in the fall, upon which Demeter
               renewed mourning for her daughter.

               From http://www.witchesweb.com/ostara.html