Spring Equinox: Customs and Practices

Spring Equinox and it’s many faces and customs

Resurrection
We celebrate the renewal of life as seen by the newly emerging life in many forms all around us. A resurrection from all that looks dead is seen as the Earth regenerates and renews herself. This is symbolized in resurrection myths in many cultures and traditions.
There are many myths of the “Year Gods” ( Attis, Adonis, Osiris and Dionysus) – who like Christ die and are reborn. He is symbolic of the vegetation, dying each year (at harvest) to be reborn in the spring.
We celebrate the renewal of life as seen by the newly emerging life in many forms all around us. A resurrection from all that looks dead is seen as the Earth regenerates and renews herself. This is symbolized in resurrection myths in many cultures and traditions.

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Eggs
Each year, on March 21, the ancient Persians celebrated the festival of the solar New Year by presenting each other with colored eggs.
The ancient Egyptians also celebrated the solar New Year by dyeing eggs and offering them up to their gods.
The Jews used eggs as a symbol of rebirth at the Passover.
During the Middle Ages people not only gave up meat for Lent but also eggs. It was a very precious gift to be given an egg for Easter because of harsh winters making food scarce. Children would often go from house to house to beg for Easter Eggs.
In ancient days, eggs were gathered and used for the creation of talismans and also ritually eaten. The gathering of different colored eggs from the nests of a variety of birds is thought to have given rise to two traditions still observed today – the Easter egg hunt, and coloring eggs in imitation of the various pastel colors of wild birds.

For early Pagans in the Germanic countries, this was a time to celebrate planting and the new crop season. Typically, the Celtic people did not celebrate Ostara as a holiday, although they were in tune with the changing of the seasons.Persian kings known as the Achaemenians celebrated the spring equinox with the festival of No Ruz — which means “new day.” It is a celebration of hope and renewal still observed today in many Persian countries

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Mayan people in Central American have celebrated a spring equinox festival for centuries. As the sun sets on the day of the equinox on the great ceremonial pyramid, El Castillo, Mexico, its “western face…is bathed in the late afternoon sunlight. The lengthening shadows appear to run from the top of the pyramid’s northern staircase to the bottom, giving the illusion of a diamond-backed snake in descent.” This has been called “The Return of the Sun Serpent” since ancient times.
The custom of giving eggs on Ostara was known to the early Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, Romans and Gauls. The Practice of coloring these eggs also date back to ancient civilization.
In Asia and India, the practice of hunting hidden eggs in spring was symbolic of the belief that we are fully responsible for our actions and reactions, and that we must each find our own way to life renewed. Because this incorporated reincarnation themes, the egg hunt was a time to reflect on the balance of rights and wrongs and how to improve one’s position in the next life.