Ostara (Vernal Equinox) Is Upon Us…And It’s Early!
It's Spring! It may not entirely feel like spring today, at least not yet. It's been an unseasonably warm winter, especially for those people living East of the Mississippi, but it's early too. The vernal equinox (defined as the "moment when the sun arrives at one of two intersection points of the ecliptic and the celestial equator, this point is located in eastern Pisces) arrived one day earlier than normal this year on March 20.
Now, I know that growing up, the first day of spring was ALWAYS March 21st, not the 20th. However, this has not always been true, during the 20th century March 21st was actually the exception, rather than the rule. A year is not an even number of days, and neither are the seasons.
Ostara is just one of the names given to the vernal equinox and the word, Ostara derives from Eostre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring and fertility. Eostre's festival is celebrated at the spring equinox because she brings about new life and rebirth from the death of winter.
You might recognize the similarities, Easter and Ostara occur around the same time and a lot of customs we celebrate today as part of the Easter "traditions" have their roots in Pagan customs surrounding Eostre.
The spring equinox welcomes traditions from all walks of life, religious beliefs, and even just some crazy balancing acts that should be possible any day of the year.
So, is it really easier to balance things on the equinox? No, but you are more likely to see people sitting in their living rooms with a carton of eggs and a frustrated look on their face! It's just as likely that an egg will balance on the equinox and any other day!
Let's welcome Spring!