Spring time begins with the Sun entering Aries. It usually happens between March 20th-22nd. This is the Day of Spring Equinox – for the Northern Hemisphere. Spring Equinox is considered one of the Most Powerful Days of the Whole Year and one of the 8 Sacred Shabbats of Pagan Calendar.
Significance of Spring Equinox
Moreover, the Spring Equinox is so powerful that most religions celebrate it, even Monotheistic one, regardless its pagan origins. For example, the following feasts are always related with the Spring Equinox:
- Jewish Passover
- Christian Passover
- Persian (Zoroastrian) New Year
- Isis Festival of Rebirth
- St. Patrick’s Day (replacing Pagan feasts of Spring)
- Japanese Higan – the celebration of Spirits reaching Nirvana
- Ancient Chinese feast of Balance – balancing eggs
Christian (?) Symbols of Spring – Vernal Equinox:
The fluffy and – usually happy – Easter Bunny is also called the Easter Rabbit or Easter Hare. It is a christianized symbol of Easter, commonly depicted as a rabbit bringing red Easter eggs. As mentioned above, it is also referred to as the “Easter Hare” who played the role of a divine judge – equal to Santa Claus of Christmas, evaluating whether children were good or not.
It first appears as a Christian figure around 17th century in Germany. Why? Because it just never stopped to pop out as a symbol of Spring time. Bunnies, Rabbits – Hares, are symbols of Mother Nature’s abundance and fertility, a sacred animal of Eostre/Ostara – popular Goddess of Spring. Hence Easter Bunny, is a newly christianized – originally Celtic’s origin – symbol, which seems to endure time.
Calculation of the Day of Easter
The date of Easter is calculated as the first Sunday after the first Full Moon occurring on or after the Spring Equinox. Alright, if this isn’t pagan then what is?
You might be wondering..
Why Catholic or Orthodox churches often have different calculations for Easter?
Equinox is misplaced on Julian Calendars. So usually the Gregorian Calendar marks the Equinox on March 22 whilst the Julian on April 4. Hence, Easter day does not always fall on a the same day for Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
According to the Christian folklore, the red eggs symbolize the blood of Jesus Christ which colored them after crucifixion. Moreover, as the eggs have the potential of life, it also hints, Jesus’s Resurrection.
However, eggs are a very significant symbol of life, which associates most Pagan traditions. Let’s see few.
- Eggs dyed with red color – or blood were given as gifts during or after the festivals of Spring Equinox in ancient Egypt, Greece, Ireland and Rome.
- Moreover, Druids and Ancient Celts used the egg as a very powerful symbol. According to “The Mythology and Rites of the British Druids” by Edward Davies, Druids bore an egg as a symbol of their Power. It is also said, that druids used to dye eggs with menstrual blood, and bury them in their fields. This red egg would draw magical powers of resurrection and give life and prosperous new crops.
- Ancient Chinese festivals of Spring include the ‘Egg Balancing Ritual’. It actually holds competitions of people trying to balance a raw egg on its end. If you manage to accomplish that at the first moment of spring, good luck and abundance is promised for the rest of the year.
- During Persian New Year, Nowruz, they used to (and still some do) exchange red eggs for blessings.
Modern Pagans also use colored eggs as powerful Easter Talismans.
- Red Eggs: Power of Resurrection, Passion and New Life
- Orange Eggs: Attraction and Good Luck
- Yellow Eggs: Happiness and Inspiration
- Green Eggs: Abundance and Good Health
- Blue Eggs: Peace and Spirituality
- Purple Eggs: Mystical and Magical Powers of Spring
Christians usually bake special Passover Cakes to celebrate their sacred day. They are prepared during the Holy Week yet they are eaten on Sunday of Passover, due to the fasting which is very common.
However, baking cakes on Spring Equinox is also older than this. Persephone comes back from the Land of the Dead in Spring Equinox. This is why her Mother, who is the Goddess of Nature, Demeter, is happy again and that’s why all nature comes back from the Dead together with Persephone. Demeter was associated with Cereals and Persephone is usually depicted carrying cereals. Hence baking cakes was usual to Pagan Celebrations of Spring Equinox.