In Dunisha, the Spring Equinox is a seasonal holiday we observe and celebrate.
I always wondered what rabbits and eggs had to do with Easter and Jesus, until I learned more about the ancient Germanic holiday and goddess Ostara (also Eostre). Many Christian holidays appropriated the pagan customs of the culture they were taking root in. This made it easier for people to acclimate and adopt the new beliefs, while still honoring the Earth.
“Sitting quietly, doing nothing, Spring comes—and the grass grows, by itself.” – Basho
Ostara was known as the dawn goddess and often depicted with hares. It makes sense, as spring is a time of returning light, fertility, and robust animal activity that come out of hibernation. It also makes sense that this symbology could and would be linked to the Jesus resurrection. It's interesting now, hundreds (thousands) of years later, we're once again honoring the Earth with its inherent holidays. My family doesn't personally observe religious Easter, instead we celebrate the Spring Equinox. However, it would feel weird to not participate in the now-Western customs of Easter, brunch, and gathering with loved ones that we grew up with. But by returning to the roots of seasonal observations—hares, eggs, and the returning of light naturally makes sense and their symbology benefit of our lives. Although we had a heavy snowfall a few days before the Spring Equinox (first day of spring), one could already feel the returning warmth. And now today, as I write this blog, most of the snow has melted again. We also gained an additional hour of light in the evenings with Daylight Savings recently, and a pair of geese had migrated to our pond. Had our community brunch not been canceled due to the quarantine, we would have also enjoyed a planting seeds ritual. Ever since I was a child I had a hard time honoring holidays based off religious obligation. I loved the peacefulness found in churches and their rituals, but unless something seemed practical or was proven, it just never stuck. Thus, I'm grateful that in Dunisha we place less emphasis on blind faith and more emphasis on the wisdom naturally found in nature. Beautifully enough, many of the lessons cross over. We've had many sects of Christians and Pagans celebrate alongside us over the years, with Atheists, Buddhists, Hindus, and those of the Jewish and Islamic paths as well. No matter what spiritual, religious, agnostic, or atheistic path you follow—spring invites a grateful spirit of mind and body where we acknowledge the gift of life.
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