Happy Ostara! Spring Equinox Goddess, Rituals & More
Springtime's coming. That means you can get set for a happy Ostara. Learn more about it and how to fete it up!
March heralds the arrival of spring (in the northern hemisphere) and deserves to be observed with much merriment. This year, Ostara, a Wiccan holiday of springtime, is shining brightly upon us — let's take a deeper look.
This season honors the awakening of life in all its forms: vegetation, animals, and elementals alike. It also signifies the end of winter and welcomes in warmer temperatures, making it an ideal time for planting seeds or pursuing your dreams.
With the spring equinox rapidly approaching, it's time to prep ourselves for the best Ostara ever! To mark this momentous occasion, we've assembled a bit of essential info for you. Whatever you end up doing to observe Ostara — and springtime in general — have fun!
What Is Ostara?
Ostara is a popular springtime festival that's rooted in the Wiccan and Pagan traditions. (FYI — The Druids call this holiday Alban Eilir.) It coincides with the March equinox and marks the moment when the Sun reaches its zenith in relation to the equator.
The word Ostara comes from Eostre. Eostre is an Anglo-Saxon goddess who represents spring, renewal, fertility, abundance, and all good things like that.
Perhaps you see the relation to the word Easter? It's no coincidence!
Ostara & the Spring Equinox
Ostara is usually on March 20 or 21 each year as it's tied to the vernal equinox. However, this holiday (and the spring equinox) can fall as early as March 19 or, according to some sources, as late as March 23.
The Ostara Goddess, Eostre
What better welcome to the Ostara season than getting to know the main diva herself, Eostre, a little better? Here are some interesting tidbits to get you acquainted:
- The name Eostre is thought to be derived from the word "east," as in the direction of sunrises and the beginnings of each new day.
- Eostre plays a central role in many cultures' fertility rites and rituals. She is, after all, associated with birth, eggs, bunnies, and other symbols of new life.
- As not much of a stretch, some also deem Eostre to be a goddess of love and passion.
- Depictions of Eostre frequently show her as a youthful maiden with long, flowy tresses, in natural settings with flowers and birds around.
There are historical mentions of Eostre, but most of the details you'll see these days are drawn from more contemporary interpretations of Wiccan and Pagan beliefs and customs. So, don't be surprised if you find a lot of variation.
Bonfires & More — Ostara Rituals Worth Observing
In our books, the onset of spring is always an auspicious occasion worth celebrating! It's a glorious time to take up new projects, share our accomplishments with loved ones, and venture forth into new endeavors.
Signs of Ostara
Wiccan and pagan spirituality is nature-based and earth-centric. Because of this, you'll notice common themes in worship or celebration may include:
- Symbols of fertility
- Rituals and rites
Keep this in mind if you're planning to jump on the Ostara party bus!
How To Have a Happy Ostara
Now, assuming you're all aboard — what can you do to make the most of this momentous spring equinox event?
Here's our shortlist of invigorating ways to celebrate Ostara like you really mean it. They're sure to bring joy into your life, or at least your day.
- Host a ritual to commemorate the change of seasons
- Enjoy a crackly bonfire (Yup, another occasion when it’s A-OK to set sh*t on fire!)
- Spend quality time with close friends
- Make fragrant candles (or just light some!)
- Eat tasty or new-to-you delicacies or a cozy cup of seasonal brew
- Have an intention-setting ceremony
- Connect with your deities through a meaningful spiritual practice
- Commune with nature by getting out into it
Have the Best Ostara Ever!
Ostara is a special springtime holiday that hails from Wiccan and Pagan traditions. It marks the moment when we start leaving winter behind for warmer days and the hope, promise, and joy of all things new.
The goddess Eostre is a main figure of Ostara. You can honor her and the occasion itself through a variety of symbols and activities. Celebrating Ostara is a wonderful way to welcome the new season.