Friday, 3 April 2015

Easter: Being Thankful For New Beginnings

I remember how, when I was a child, my mum and I would make Easter bonnets and enter competitions at my play school. I don't tell her often enough, but my mum is such a creative and artistic woman, and when I look back at the photos I love seeing just how good her Easter bonnets were. My favourite was the bird's nest, complete with those fluffy little yellow ducks and Cadbury Mini Eggs (still a firm Easter favourite with me!)

Easter is certainly a time for new life, for fresh, beautiful flora and fauna, and for looking forward to the spring and summer months ahead. I love hearing about different Easter traditions, both Christian and otherwise, and those involving special Easter breakfasts are my favourites (let's face it, you mention breakfast or brunch to me and you've got my interest). Whether it's silly amounts of chocolate, beautifully painted eggs in the trees in Germany or church bells ringing on Easter Sunday, there is plenty of spring cheer in the air.

This morning, curious about the origin of Easter traditions which seem to have little to do with the crucifixion of Jesus (I mean, I know Jesus is said to have been resurrected on Easter Sunday, but his torture and death leading up to it don't really fit with the celebration of spring and new life), I wound up doing a little research and was pleased with the results of earlier Easter festivals. My favourite was the worship of Ostara (or Eastre), the Germanic goddess of spring and the dawn, in other words, of fertility. And of course, the rabbit and eggs are symbols of this, as are the flowers and bright colours we surround ourselves with around this time. Whether or not you believe in gods, I find these spring celebrations much more cheerful than hearing or watching the Passion of Christ (which, despite Jesus's resurrection, I always found quite upsetting as a child).

So, whether you are celebrating for religious reasons, either Christian or Pagan, or else you just like eating chocolate, I wish you a very happy Easter and give thanks for new beginnings :)

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