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Ostara is a Pagan festival celebrated during the spring equinox as the time of fertility and new growth of the Earth. In the Northern Hemisphere, it occurs between March 19 and March 22. Similar to Easter celebrations, this event includes eggs, rabbits, flowers, and seeds.
See the fact file below for more information on the Ostara or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Ostara worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
ETYMOLOGY AND ORIGIN
- Many believe that Ostara is an ancient Celtic and Saxon spring holiday in reverence to Eostra, the goddess who symbolizes dawn and fertility. In Germanic terms, Eostre had its roots as “East” – the same direction as the rising sun.
- For Wiccans and other Pagans, Ostara is the day when the goddess, the Mother Earth, and the Sun God joined in sacred marriage. Moreover, it is the time when the goddess is in her maiden stage with full potential of fertility, growth, and readiness to be reborn.
- It is one of the eight neo-pagan sabbats that comprise the Wheel of the Year, including Yule, Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh, Samhain, Litha, and Mabon.
- Wiccans and other modern Pagan groups follow and celebrate solstices and equinoxes each year as a spiritually rewarding practice. These sabbats are celebrated in line with nature and the turning of the seasons.
- Aside from Christian Easter celebrations, Jewish Passover is also observed on the spring equinox at the same time as Ostara.
- For ancient Mayans, rituals are performed at the pyramid of Kukulkan, also known as El Castillo, during the spring equinox to watch the descension of a snake from the afternoon shadows of the sun. The temple in Chichen Itza was structurally designed with the alignment of the equinox.
- In ancient Persia, the spring equinox was celebrated with a 13-day festival of Nowruz, which means “new day”.
- In Roman mythology, the god Mithras was resurrected on the spring equinox and created the moon and the night sky by sacrificing a white bull and his cloak.
TRADITIONS AND PRACTICES
- During Ostara, participants do both solitary and communal rituals, including egg races, egg hunts, egg painting, and egg eating. Role plays with a man and a woman as god and goddess of spring show courtship rituals representing planting of seeds.
- Like other neo-pagan holidays, Ostara is observed by setting up altars symbolizing spiritual renewal. Altars are usually decorated with spring colors such as yellow forsythia, purple lilacs, and green leaves. In addition, statues of gods and goddesses, opposite color of candles, and sun and moon can also be placed. Moreover, figurines of cattle, lambs, and rabbits, along with the basket of eggs representing birth and abundance of spring also feature on many altars.
- In addition to altar decorating, solitary rituals include casting a circle with three candles: yellow, green, and purple, a bowl of milk and honey or sugar. The green candle symbolizes the blossoming of the earth during spring, the purple candle signifies the divine force that guides life, while the yellow candle represents the sun.
- There are also rebirthing rituals and earth meditation to get closer with nature.
- Deities symbolizing spring include Asase Yaa of the Ashanti people of Ghana, Cybele the mother goddess of Rome, Eostre of Western Germanic mythology, the Norse fertility goddess Freya, Osiris of Egypt, and Saraswati the Hindu goddess of art.
- Every Pagan holiday like Ostara is filled with both traditional and modern food in celebration of spring, including hot cross buns or cross quarter buns which represent the elements of earth, air, fire, and water.
- In other Pagan traditions, hot cross buns depict the directions: east, west, north, and south, while others view it as the four phases of the moon: dark, waxing, full, and waning moon. Moreover, each quadrant stands for the seasons: winter, spring, summer, and autumn.
- Other Ostara meals include mint chutney, roasted lamb, deviled eggs, peep ambrosia, spring sprout salad, and surprise lemon bread.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Ostara across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Ostara worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Ostara which is a Pagan festival celebrated during the spring equinox as the time of fertility and new growth of the Earth. In the Northern Hemisphere, it occurs between March 19 and March 22. Similar to Easter celebrations, this event includes eggs, rabbits, flowers, and seeds.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Ostara Facts
- Spring Equinox 101
- Winter and Spring
- Spring Deities
- Spring Around the World
- Symbols and Meanings
- Pagan Sabbats
- Ostara Glossary
- Springtime Poem
- Celebrate Ostara
- Ostara in Letters
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Link will appear as Ostara Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, January 3, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.