Friday, March 27, 2009
(Picture ripped from theceltblender.wordpress.com/)
March 20 approximately
Ostara, the first day of spring, takes it name from the Goddess Eoster. She is a relatively unknown goddess of spring and/or fertility, rebirth and the rising sun. Her name is connected with east and the word for shining; glorious. The Christian feast of rebirth and renewal was given the Goddess’s name-Easter- due to the Ostara worship in Germanic lands being so strong.
Easter Eggs have their beginnings in ancient rites as well.
Eggs are an ancient symbol of fertility sometimes being thrown in front of plows during planting season, sometimes colored green and planted in the fields.
Quoting from Wikipedia:
The modern English term Easter developed from the Old English word Eastre, which itself developed prior to 899. Bede (a Benedictine monk) states that the name refers to the fourth month of the year, eostremonath, which was named for a goddess named Eostre, who was celebrated at the Spring equinox.
Jacob Grimm recalls Bede's account of Eostre and states that it was unlikely that the man of the church would simply have invented a pagan goddess. Comparing the Anglo-Saxon eostur-monath with the Old High German term for Easter (ôstertagâ, aostortagâ and variants), he reconstructs an Old High German equivalent of the Anglo-Saxon theonym, ôstarâ.
15. The English Months.
In olden time the English people – for it did not seem fitting to me that I should speak of other nations' observance of the year and yet be silent about my own nation's – calculated their months according to the course of the moon. Hence after the manner of the Hebrews and the Greeks, [the months] take their name from the moon, for the moon is called mona and the month monath.
The first month, which the Latins call January, is Giuli; February is called Sol-monath; March Hreth-monath; April, Eostur-monath; May Thrimilchi...
Eostur-monath has a name which is now translated Paschal month, and which was once called after a goddess of theirs named Eostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated in that month. Now they designate that Paschal season by her name, calling the joys of the new rite by the time-honoured name of the old observance.