Celebrating nature is a common occurrence when it comes to spirituality. Being grateful for the Universe and the world around you can put your life into perspective. Ostara is a pagan holiday that celebrates the spring solstice. It’s a time of flourishing, gratefulness, and new beginnings. As spring begins, Ostara is celebrated as a way of giving a warm welcome to the spring time and all it has to offer.
This holiday falls on the spring equinox, which is around March 20th in the northern hemisphere. It’s a time when new life begins to emerge and signs of growth begin to sprout around us.
When is Ostara?
Ostara falls in March, around the vernal (or spring) equinox.
The term equinox itself comes from Latin derivatives meaning “equal night”. The vernal equinox is the one to two days a year that the day and night are (roughly) the same length. This usually falls on March 20th, 21st, or 22nd.
What is Ostara?
Ostara comes from the story about Eostre. Eostre is the Goddess of dawn, and her job is to bring spring. In fact, her folklore is directly connected to how some now celebrate Easter.
There are two different versions of this story that are popular, but the concept is about the same.
One year, Eostre was late bringing spring. When she finally arrived, she saw a little bird, cold from the lasting winter. Remorsefully, she scooped up the baby bird to find that it’s wings were damaged beyond repair from the cold.
In consolation, she decided to turn the bird into a snow hare. To pay respects to the new hare’s previous incarnation, she allowed the hare to still lay eggs. The eggs from the hare were a beautiful assortment of colors, but could only be laid once a year; on the spring equinox.
The second version of the story is about the same, but rather, the bird already laid gorgeous eggs. Eostre was so jealous of the bird that she turned it into a hare… But the hare became so distressed and Eostre felt terrible. In compromise, she allowed the hare to lay the beautiful eggs, but only once a year.
Some of the story is up for debate as it can be lost in translation, and not really anyone knows the true origin. However, it’s hypothesized that this folklore has it’s roots in Anglo-Saxon beliefs, and is the inspiration for the modern-day easter bunny and egg hunts.
The main takeaway from this story for those celebrating Ostara is the name itself deriving from the Germanic goddess Eostre.
Eostre is the goddess of dawn. Aforementioned, she is believed to bring the springtime in the form of flowers, fertility, and more daylight.
Alternately, some people use Ostara as a time to celebrate the Triple Goddess; also known as the Maiden, Mother, and Crone. However, she’s mostly associated with Imbolc.
How to Celebrate
Ostara is all about appreciating your blessings as well as making room for new blessings to arrive in your life. Along your journey, you’ll find many ways to do this as well as learn which are your favorites. Maybe you make your own Ostara tradition, or you celebrate differently each year. Whatever way you feel fulfilled, that’s how you should spend the solstice.
In case you’re learning, or you haven’t found your ideal way to observe Ostara, here are a few ways that I like to get into the spirit of Spring!
Keeping your area clean, and taking time to cleanse your mind is one of the best ways to start off this holiday. Think of spring as a fresh start, and really get to decluttering in all aspects of your life.
Mentally, physically, digitally, and spiritually rid yourself of what is no longer serving you. In doing so, you make space for new blessings.
Pick fresh flowers to have in your home
Having fresh flowers will liven up any space, and springtime is all about flowers, anyhow. If you have fresh flowers outside or nearby, pick some to add to a vase. If your access to flowers is limited, even just a bouquet from the grocery store works.
Bless your flowers with intent and some good ‘ole sunshine. Keep them in a spot you’ll see them often, and nourish them as you can. Having a vibrancy nearby can help you get into the spirit and mindset of the new beginnings that Ostara entails.
Cook with eggs
In the story of Eostre, eggs are symbolic. In keeping with the theme, egg-based dishes are a common Ostara tradition. Preparing dishes like deviled eggs, egg salad, and omelets are a good way to honor the story of Eostre and Ostara itself.
Even better, egg-shaped candies count, too! If you aren’t too keen on cooking with eggs, decorations are also an awesome way to pay tribute.
Plant veggies and/or flowers
Because Ostara is all about new growth, it’s the perfect time to plant seeds. Whether you plant fruits, veggies, flowers, or herbs, Ostara is the time to do it!
Planting outside is the best, but some places are still pretty cold or have frost this time of year. In that case, having a planter in your windowsill, or even getting some houseplants to take care of is a good way to get in touch with the true roots of the holiday (pun intended!).
Take a nature walk or hike
The best way to appreciate nature is to be in nature! Take some time to walk, sing, dance, or even just sit outside during the equinox. Kick off your shoes, feel the dirt on your feet, and tune into nature. Embrace the sunshine and just be present and grateful for the world that surrounds you.
Decorate your altar
If you have an altar space, holidays are a great excuse to switch things up. Rearrange and decorate your altar for the spring solstice with the addition of flowers, herbs, crystals, and candles to help you celebrate.
Ideas for your altar:
- Herbs: lavender, thyme, sunflower seeds
- Candles: green, pink, white
- Crystals: rose quartz, agate, clear quartz, garnet
To get you started, check out our Ostara Kit on Etsy, it has the basics you need to learn about the holiday, and set up your altar in tribute.
Be especially mindful of your blessings and manifestations. The most important part of this holiday’s celebration is your intent, as with most things when it comes to spirituality.
Regardless of how you choose to celebrate, take the time to be grateful for all you have, and welcome the new season into your life with an open heart and mind. As the winter comes to an end, it’s time for new beginnings. Embrace the change, and let go!
What’s your favorite way to celebrate Ostara? Let me know down below!