Ostara, Easter Bunny, Easter Eggs, and Christian Connections

Ostara is celebrated on the astronomical first day of spring- the 
spring equinox. It usually occurs around March 21- check an almanac.

It is an exciting time of year and a celebration of the transition 
from the cold barren confinement of winter and the warm, fruitful 
freedom of spring...

I would celebrate outdoors, share myths with the children about 
spring (the persephone myth is wonderful) if you don't want to have an egg hunt
maybe try a scavenger hunt instead... and have a WONDERFUL meal which includes eggs
and foods associated with spring... you could also use a few edible
flowers (roses, for example) as garnish, or toss them into salads (I actually saw
pansies on sale in the produce section of the grocery store the other
day just for that purpose...) celebrate with friends and share joy and freedom...


This was a goddess with whom a rabbit was besotted, so he left eggs,
dyed in the colors of spring, to please her. They pleased her so well
that she charged him with the duty of pleasing all those who venerated
 her with these gifts of dyed 'Eostara eggs'.

It is named for Eostre' a spring goddess who has one of those nifty
stories where she is a constellation that looks like a rabbit, but in
the spring she decends to earth as a great bird and lays eggs as gifts of the returning spring.
Fertility extraordinaire.

Goddess Ostara, maiden aspect of earth. She is the potential, the fertility, 
and the budding life of earth. She is the roundness and wholeness of 
creation. In the egg, all aspects of Ostara can be found.

The pagan-christiantian connection debate

Easter/Eostar: there is a lot of debate about the exact relationship
between the two... the secular celebration of easter is based on
pre-Christian spring festivities...
  eggs and rabbits/hares are fertility symbols... fertility energy is
  valuable at this time of the year when so many people's livelyhood
  depends on fertile ground and successful crops... The baby chicks 
  etc are symbols of the birthing livestock and the feelings of 
  renewal... the pastel colours are symbolic of the flowers and of the
  fresh young green which is seen so briefly in the spring...

Many people (including your humble narrator) believe that the Christians
just picked it as being a handy time for the Jesus, martyrdom thing, and
So they were merged. If you think about it, what the heck does a bunny
handing out eggs have to do with crucifiction? :)

The Easter bunny

The Easter bunny is a Hare. Their are significant differences in these
animals and those differences are important to the symbol [nesting
behavior is part of the connection between eggs and the hare] their coursing skills made them
honored as objects of the hunt.

Easter Eggs

"Easter" eggs don't really have anything to do with the christian faith-
they're adaptations of symbols traditionally used for fertility. (Spring
= time when plants are growing, cows are calving, etc = time of rebirth = good time for
fertility rites)


Why are "easter" eggs decorated? Originally they were dyed red- the
fertile colour of mother's blood. They were cast upon rivers at first
thaw, that they might bring fertility to the land. They were left on 
graves as tokens of rebirth. They were eaten, that their blessings of
 fertililty might live withing us. The egg is not only a symbol of 
fertility, but of the Goddess Ostara.

Making your own

-ukrainian method-

They're dyed with onion skins- it's easy to do. Just boil the eggs in
water with a bunch of yellow onion skins. They come out a gorgeous
reddish-brown colour, the deepness of which depends on how much 
onion skin you use and how long the eggs stay in the water.... You 
can turn the stove off after boiling and leave the eggs in it for an 
hour or so to deepen the colour. These eggs are hidden around
the house for children to find, and once they are eaten, throw the
shells into a stream or river to bring fertility to the land.