Sunday, April 12, 2009

Eostre Fest

Every year on Easter Sunday I think about what a shame it is that the celebration of the arrival of spring was stolen from the pagans and distorted into a religious holiday. What a shame it is that both the winter solstice and vernal equinox have been mixed up with, and overshadowed by, Christian myths.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could celebrate the rebirth and revitalization of the land we live upon without religion? Just imagine...

All schools and businesses would close on the day of the spring equinox, called Easter after the ancient Saxon goddess Eostre, and the German fertility goddess Ostare. (Not that I'm suggesting we worship pagan deities, just that we shouldn't forget how Easter got its name.)

There would, of-course, be baskets of colorful eggs, flowers, and rabbits as symbols, but there would also be rituals to do with the Earth - maybe something like greeting the dawn, or planting seeds. There would be songs, outdoor games, and in the evening a bonfire. It would be a happy holiday that everyone could celebrate, completely devoid of dogma.

You may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one...

5 comments:

Maria said...

Hey Hilary,
I read through so many of your posts last night. It was like seeing the conversations we've been missing out on. I agree about Easter. I'm just thankful for the chance to reflect on the theme of rebirth. I feel like winter is about introspection and reflection (maybe that's why it feels so long.) Then spring is a new opportunity to come out of the cocoon, emerging in better, stronger form. I guess the real shame about Easter is that people celebrate it on the superficial level of Jesus, and are probably missing out on the connection to their own rebirth.
Loving your blog, Maria

willow said...

Happy Easter, Happy Spring!

Hermit on the Hill said...

Well said!!! And, we're growing in numbers every year. In a 2007 poll, almost 20% of us claimed to "have no religion."

Rooster said...

You've just solved the problem of celebrating religious holidays in schools! You know how public schools are always pussy footing around holidays now-a-days because they don't want to be seen as embracing the religion of it all. Tell them to focus on the origins.

This is all painfully obvious when visiting museums in Mexico and hearing about all of the ancient burial/temple sites that were simply demolished and churches built at the same spot. The tribes who honored the gods who protected the Earth were killed in favor of Christianity and their "holidays" were replaced with Christian holidays. Even La Virgin de Guadalupe festival day is the same day as the Aztec's honored one of their goddesses.

Go figure!

Was nice to see BB yesterday!
Emily

Barb Black said...

Hear here! You are most definitely not the only one! Just this past year, I made a batch of Winter Solstice cards for a friend. She said, "I've been threatening to send out solstice cards for the longest time, and now I'm going to! Make me a bunch of pagan-y looking cards." So I used a druid moon symbol and purples and blues... and was thrilled to do them.

As I woke this morning to the pounding of the rain and the thunder of the river, I smiled and thought to myself, "Preach it, Mother."