This month: fairy tales from ancient Egypt!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Vernal Equinox and Easter

Wild Flowers at Anza Borrego Desert State Park, Southern California, Spring 2008


Fairy Tale Factum

Easter is the most important Christian feast day and it is traditionally celebrated at the end of March or the beginning of April. The precise date is determined annually and it falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox (approximately March 21).
There are diverging views about the origin of the word Easter. By some accounts, Easter can be traced back to the old Germanic Goddess Ostara, whose symbols were the rabbit and egg. According to another explanation, Easter is derived from an Indo-Germanic word áus, which means shining, brilliant or luminous. Apparently the deity Ostara (Old High German) or Eastre (Old English) represented the radiant morning and the rising sun and the concept may have been applied to the Christian theme of resurrection. According to ancient Germanic tradition, Easter is the time the woman in white appears on cliffs and crags announcing the return of spring. Symbols include the Easter Lily or any of the white spring flowering plants and of course, the Easter bunny and Easter egg.



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