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Ostara, a pagan holiday and one of the eight Wiccan sabbats, celebrates the spring equinox. It honors light from the Sun, the coming warmth of spring, and the awakening of the Earth. The name Ostara comes from Eostre, the name for an Anglo-Saxon and German goddess of spring and new beginnings. Accordingly, Ostara also is a pagan celebration of the Eostre goddess. Similar to other spring celebrations, the day symbolizes rebirth, fertility, and renewal.

Celebrations of spring can be found in many ancient customs in many cultures, and the Wicca borrowed and used many of these customs for Ostara. Many of the symbols of the day have roots in other traditions, such as the use of rabbits and hares. Hares in Medieval Europe symbolized spring and fertility. March is the mating season for the hare, and it's the time of the year they are regularly seen throughout the whole day. They were sometimes used as symbols of fertility because the female hares can become pregnant with a second litter while still carrying their first. Other symbols for Ostara are eggs, flowers, butterflies, and fairies.

Wiccans take part in Ostara by meditating outside and doing rituals to welcome spring. Wiccans and others who celebrate may plant seeds—historically, this time of year marked the beginning of the growing season, when seeds were planted. Seeds are not only planted today but also figuratively, by planning for the future and taking action on goals. Seasonal candy like Peeps and chocolate rabbits are eaten, and eggs are decorated or eaten, too. Ostara is also a day of cleaning and a time when people work to regain balance in their lives.

How to Observe Ostara

  • Plant seeds for a vegetable or flower garden. You could start the seeds inside and then transfer the seedlings outdoors following the final frost.
  • Take a nature walk alone or with others and look for signs of spring.
  • Meditate.
  • Do some spring cleaning. Clean your home and other areas you spend time, such as your vehicle or workspace at your job. You also could clean out emails on your computer.
  • Start a new project.
  • Decorate an Ostara altar. It could honor a goddess such as Eostre.
  • Make egg dishes like egg salad, frittatas, or custard pie.
  • Decorate eggs.
  • Enjoy some Peeps or chocolate rabbits.
  • Read a book about Ostara such as Ostara: Rituals, Recipes & Lore for the Spring Equinox, and use the information to help you plan your day.

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