Can I just say that my favorite thing about Easter time is multi-colored marshmallows shaped like bunnies and chicks. Oh, and you mustn’t forget the candy-coated Cadbury Eggs…
Some of my fondest memories from when I was a child include searching for colorful eggs and large Easter baskets full of goodies like kites, bubbles, punching balloons and chocolate bunnies. My mother is an amazing woman, and she always went all out when it came to holidays, even as we grew older.
Did you know that Easter was likely derived from Ēostre? Ēostre is the name of the Saxon mother goddess who’s name was originally adapted from Eastre which means Spring. Her symbols were the egg and the hare, both denoting fertility. Modern-day pagans celebrate the holiday Ostara, which falls on the Vernal Equinox and celebrates fertility and the bringing in of Spring.
Rabbits are a strong symbol of fertility because of how much they breed, the egg is potent symbolism simply because it represents new life, fertility and reincarnation. Painted eggs, representing the colors of spring, have been used in rituals since the times of the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians. Also, those Easter lilies that everyone raves about, they symbolize fertility due to their shape-but we wont go into that one right now…
Now in Christianity they celebrate Easter in representation of the resurrection of Christ. As the story goes, he was put to death on the cross (betrayed by Judas) and as he died God cursed the world (out of grief, anger, or something else) with darkness for 3 days. They put Jesus’ body in a tomb, rolled a large stone over the doorway, and on the third day it was rolled away as he was resurrected
They aren’t the only ones with this story, as Christ is only the latest manifestation of the resurrection myth. Such legends include Osiris (Egyptian), Orpheus (Greek), Tammuz (Babylonian) and Dionysus (also Greek); who were all said to have been born of virgins and resurrected three days after their death. These mythologies date much further back than Christ; For example: the earliest known attestation of Osiris’ name was found on the Palermo Stone circa 2500BC.
Since the ages, it seems that people have been relating spring to rebirth and resurection. In Neo-paganism we learn the legend of the God and Goddess, and each Sabbat represents a different stage in the wheel of the year; i.e. the wheel of life, death, and rebirth.
I personally feel the rebirth each spring, as the snowstorms start to cease and I feel again as I am reborn out of the depression of Winter and into the beauty of spring, finally emerging from my cave and walking through the grass with the sun on my skin. Even the April Showers (which we are currently experiencing) are rejuvenating and beautiful, and make for an invigorating mood!