Pagan: Rejoice in spring for Ostara

https://readthespirit.com/religious-holidays-festivals/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2013/03/wpid-SF_311_Ostara_spring_flower.jpgSUNDAY, MARCH 20: Pagans and Wiccans reach back to their roots today, rejoicing in spring on the vernal equinox in a festival known as Ostara (or Mabon, in the Southern Hemisphere). Over the millennia, traditions have evolved, but some are timeless: eggs, fresh herbs, rabbits and spring flowers. (Read more at Wicca.com.) Devotees turn to Great Mother Earth and appreciate the abundance and fertility of spring. Ostara was the Germanic Goddess of Springtime. (Wikipedia has details.)

Legends abound in pinpointing the origin of activities like searching for eggs or celebrating rabbits—and theories point to the intermingling of Christian Easter and Pagan Ostara traditions. (WitchVox has a description.) It remains customary to leave sweets like honey, mead or candy for fairies on Ostara, and modern Celts ask their youngest members to “wake up” Mother Earth by tapping on the ground. Pagan households enjoy leafy green vegetables, sprouts and spring flowers; people often plant seeds to begin a garden or take a walk in nature. (Get spring craft ideas and gardening suggestions for kids at FamilyFun.go.com.)

For more on the Equinox, see our separate story about Equinox science and customs.

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