Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Celebration of Easter

Happy Easter: Ostern, Pesach, Eosturmonath, Great Day and Great Night and I hope you had a blessed and holy Passover!

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.

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 and the true meaning of re-birth and the promise and the cycle of life ever-lasting.

The name of our holy day 'Easter', 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 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, and tables filled with fresh flowers from my parents 60th Anniversary party on the 9th symbolize their own rich bounty that continues on into our holy season 'Eostre' or Easter. The little birds or bunnies sitting on their nests and all of our Easter eggs, whether dyed, natural, or fresh, symbolize the rebirth of new life and Spring.

Easter blessings to all of you, in all countries, with all customs and cultures. And happiest days of rebirth and re-awakenings for a new and holy season.

Free Easter Quilt Patterns


  1. checking in to see how you are...lovely Easter post

  2. Lovely post, Michele,
    How wonderful to be celebrating your parents 60th wedding anniversary. I hope that they had a marvellous celebration.
    I never had thought of an egg as peeling back the snow and revealing the sun.. Its a wonderful vision...
    This morning we had snow - it seems unbelievable- it has all melted away already but was not a welcome sight in the middle of April.

    I hope that things are going well in Alaska and that you are taking care of yourself as well as your dear parents. I did enjoy your post about sewing with the school children.
    You are a wonderfully generous person with your time and willingness to share your gifts with others.
    Thank you for sharing your gifts.

  3. A belated Happy Easter to you! Thank you for the link to the free Easter quilt patterns. I'll pop over and see what they have.


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