The Spring Equinox, also known as Ostara, or Eostre as it is called in the Anglo-Saxon tongue, is when the days and nights are equal in length. This is a time when the people would celebrate the arrival of Spring and the warm weather after a seemingly endless Winter struggle.
There are several traditions that originate with this holiday that have survived into the modern age. One of the most obvious would be the Egg, which is a symbol of fertility and regeneration. Fires were lit to signify the change from the cold of Autumn and Winter to the warmth of Spring and Summer.
The rabbit, or hare, is sacred to several goddesses of varying cultures (Grecian Hecate, Nordic Freya, Celtic Cerridwen, and Roman Aphrodite) and is, of course, a strong symbol of fertility.
Modern Neopagans celebrate Eostre with the coloring of eggs, ritually planting seeds symbolizing the growth of new ideas and projects, as well as the greening of the Spring. This is a time to celebrate the fertility of the mind, body, and spirit. For those of us who live in the heart of the snow belt, it has become a tradition for Whispering Lake Grove to drive “Old Man Winter” from our ritual area and do our part to aid in the return of Springtime.