The Spring Equinox, Alban Eilir and The Easter Bunny

Easter postcard circa early 20th century
Image via Wikipedia

Folks The Druid festival of the Spring Equinox, Alban Eilir, the sowing of seeds and the balance of day and night is upon us.

The Spring Equinox is also sometimes known as the Festival of the Trees. It is a celebration of the returning of life to the Earth. For early Pagans in the most countries, this was a time to celebrate planting and the new crop season. Rabbits, eggs and children are sacred at this feast and Pagans in need of fertility talismans colored hollow eggs and pass them through the ceremonial fires (quickly) to take home and hang over their beds and in their barns. By the calendar it is at a specific point around 21-22 March and a great many of its traditions have been taken on by the Christian Church and blended into Easter, a word that itself stems from the Saxon goddess Eostra. The Venerable Bede, (672-735 CE.) a Christian scholar, first asserted in his book De Ratione Temporumthat Easter was named after Eostre (a.k.a. Eastre). She was the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxon people in Northern Europe. Once again Christians pile on to an existing celebration claiming ownership.

Wait! There’s more!

It is interesting that when the church co-opted the holiday, they kept the name. It is also interesting the way the Christian church derives when they will celebrate it. Easter Sunday is always the first Sunday after the first Full Moon after the Vernal Equinox. Its timing has nothing to do with the Jewish Passover. This comes down to the church using astrology to choose a date for the most important holiday in their calendar: the celebration of the resurrection of their God.

Wondering how the “Easter Bunny” and laying of eggs came about? How exactly did rabbits and eggs get into this mix? Listen closely.

Eostre was the Saxon version of the Germanic goddess Ostara. Her feast day was held on the full moon following the vernal equinox. One popular legend is that Eostre found a bird, wounded, on the ground late in winter. To save its life, she transformed it into a hare. But the transformation was not a complete one. The bird took the appearance of a hare but retained the ability to lay eggs…and to repay her for saving its’ life the hare would decorate these eggs and leave them as gifts to Eostre.

Well, as usual, most of these holidays that claim to be Christian turn out not to be! But in reality basic human celebrations of predictable earthly events. And then repurposed for their uses. End of this entry!

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bzerob

I am an aging American Navy veteran with some very pointed and acidic opinions. Feel free to heed the warning and read on.

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