Ostara - Easter
|The first Sunday and Monday
after the first Full Moon after the Spring Equinox is celebrated around the world,
as it is the time to celebrate that part of the Wheel known as
re-birth. Although, originally it was referred to as the "pregnant"
phase of the Fertility Goddess passing into the fertile season.
Sun-day, is the day to celebrate the masculine Sun God, and Mon-day (Moon-day) is the day to celebrate the feminine Moon Goddess. Obviously both aspects are celebrated and worshipped as without both, one doesn't have any kind of birth...let alone re-birth.
Rare is the country that only celebrates the Sun God on Sunday, denouncing the feminine aspect on Monday; these countries were born of religious oppression - i.e. christianity. Their god is the creator, always referred to as "he". However, to this day neither myself or anyone I know, has ever heard of a "he" giving birth to anything. Or, in all fairness, there's never been a woman getting pregnant all by herself either, although, you'll find a few sheep out there who believe otherwise. You'll forgive if I take the slightly more scientific stance of it takes two to tango...and optimally of the opposite sex.
Humans have been acknowledging this time of the year for celebrating Re-Birth for as far back as the human mind was evolved enough to understand that while everywhere looked like it was dying the previous Autumn, and apparently died the previous winter, it all came back the following spring; the flowers bloomed, the hibernating animals came above ground, the leaves sprouted, and the crops starting to rise up - and more - Nature was breeding again in all its forms.
The word Easter derives from the word Ostara, which in turn derives from Eostre, a northern form of Astarte - the Goddess of fertility. Many forms of celebrating took place to recognise this joyous time; one being the Pagan Moon Hare, scared to the Goddess in both eastern and western nations. Today, carrying on the Pagan tradition, the Moon Hare is referred to as the Easter Bunny.
The christians didn't adopt this Pagan celebration until the middle ages.
Eggs have always been the symbol of re-birth, which is why easter eggs were usually coloured red - the life colour. In Russia, the people would lay eggs on graves to serve as resurrection charms. This was one of the early associations the christian church grabbed onto, to convince its sheep that humans could be brought back to life - literally.
Another Pagan ritual borrowed and perverted by the church in its desperate attempt to convert people during the middle ages, was the Pagan drama of burying the Winter God in his tomb, then withdrawn, and said to live again, as was necessary to continue the balance of nature. The church, however, took it one step further; they humanised the festival by appointing a priest to watch over a constructed building which contained a person from Friday - (Friday being the Goddess Freya) though to the Male God day of Easter Sunday; then they took out the host and displayed him in front of the congregation to prove to them that Jesus had risen. *scratches head*.