One of the more widely celebrated holidays around the world is Easter. I myself didn’t realize how widely spread it really was.
Growing up here in the US, to me it was all about the fancy new frock, handmade by my grandma with love. I always matched my sisters’ specially made dresses, albeit in different colors. We would gather with some of our extended family over a huge meal that my grandma, great aunt, aunts, and mother would make. Then run around outside risking my beautiful dress and scuffing my new pats.
To some of my friends, it has always been a more religious occasion, with good reason. For Christians, Easter is about the resurrection of Christ. For Jews, this is a time of repentance known as Passover¹. Some countries, I have read, celebrate anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks. Even in India, where less than 2 percent of the population is Christian, Easter is celebrated with zeal.
As a young adult I also came to learn that this is also a time when many pagan religions celebrate the return of warmer weather and new life. Known as Ostara, Eostar, or Eostre is celebrated around the same time². This is always on the Spring Equinox, when the day and night are the same length of time. Celebrations still include colored eggs, bunnies, and chicks. Due to the timing of the day and night, it is also a time of reflection on the balance of things in our lives – life and death in particular.
No matter your belief, this is a truly beautiful time to celebrate new life, new beginnings, another opportunity to start anew with hope and high spirits. So here is to a new beginning for each and everyone one of us!
² “Circle Round, Raising Children in Goddess Traditions” by Starhawk, Diane Baker, & Anne Hill