Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter!

Posted by PicasaHappy Easter: Ostern, Pesach, Eosturmonath, Great Day and Great Night!

The Jewish celebration of Passover, The Feast of the Unleavened Bread was practiced by ancient Israelites at the beginning of their New Year, the Spring Equinox. The Christian Easter, depends on Passover for not only much of its symbolic meaning, but for its dating on the calendar. This year both fall close together, increasing our sharing of these rich cultures. Our Christian celebration is linked with the observance of Jesus' resurrection three days after his entombment, falling on the first Sunday after the first full moon. But the name Easter, itself, is derived from that of the Teutonic goddess Eostre, or Eoster, or Ostern and was celebrated during the pascal month of Eosturnmonath, meaning Great Day or Great Night.

What may appear as diverse rites of Spring reveal themselves as sharing common cultural beliefs in life, death, resurrection and rebirth. As the Night begins her retreat, and the dawn of the new Light and Life begin their ascent and resurrection, the balance shifts within each of us. It becomes a time of renewal, and rebirth...to time to lay down the old, and begin life anew. We set out our baskets of eggs and we celebrate this happy occasion, just as nature celebrates her own time of new growth.

In the wild forest, the hens sense the spring time change and begin to lay their colorful eggs. Perhaps our own ancestors went out to hunt them, perhaps bringing them back in their nests, or in baskets imitating them. Our nest like baskets of decorated eggs and the Eoster Egg Hunt, remind us of this lovely revitalization of nature and our common sharing in the joys, goodness and abundance of life. The symbol of the egg banishes the past and starts afresh. It is a symbol of purification and it is a symbol of rebirth. As we crack our eggs, we peel back the white of the melting snow, and we release and free the golden sun within.

My own decorated eggs may appear empty, but their rich bounty continues on into the new day. And if my own little bird sitting on her nest appears too tiny for the task, the eggs still arrived, she is content and her nest is still full and abundant!

My happiest of Easter wishes to all of you, in all countries, with all customs and cultures. Happiest of new days ahead for all of you!

4 comments:

  1. Wow...thanks for sharing the the origins of Easter. I never knew all that and I'm so glad you shared it with us. I can't help but wonder how the Aussies manage as this is their Autumn...I think that would be strange.

    TTFN

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  2. I knew there was a reason I liked you - you understand how closely related religious customs are with some ancient traditions. I wish more people realized our similarities rather than our differences.

    I hope you had a Happy Easter.

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  3. Really nicely put - are you a teacher? D'ya mind if I use that to discuss with my granddaughters?

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  4. I’d just like to say I’ve been looking at your blog for a while now and wanted to let you know how much I like it. It’s even got me to start up my own:
    http://sarahquilter.blogspot.com

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Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.