Pagans & Easter - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 03-16-2005, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My husband and I are pagans, although we don't really practice. We don't want to celebrate Easter in the traditional Christian sense, naturally, but I would like Colwyn to still get a basket of goodies and do an egg hunt.

Are there any other pagan families that don't celebrate Easter religiously but do the secular parts like baskets and egg hunts? Do you call them something different? All I could come up with was a basket from the Spring Bunny, but that sounds kind of lame.

Thanks!

-Rachel
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#2 of 22 Old 03-16-2005, 11:28 AM
 
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Why not just call it an Ostara festival, which is what it originally was anyway? The bunny, the eggs - those are all pagan fertility and rebirth symbols, so I'm going to use those with impunity (well, fake eggs, since I'm vegan).

Hmmmmmmm, now we just need to come up with a nickname for the rabbit. Ossie maybe?
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#3 of 22 Old 03-16-2005, 12:58 PM
 
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I do. I call it Easter because that's what everyone else calls it. I see no reason to give it a different name, and I don't think Christians should have a monopoly on the holiday either. I put my own spin on the Spring Celebration, and buy into all the trappings of "Easter" (which, IMO, for most people is all about the candy and duckies and eggs and bunnies, rather than religion, anyway). Then we do our own family rituals and celebrations that involve Spring and flowers and the return of nice sunny weather and such.
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#4 of 22 Old 03-16-2005, 01:11 PM
 
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we don't do any of it. No bunnys no baskets.
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#5 of 22 Old 03-16-2005, 02:13 PM
 
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Good Question!!

My DH and I were just discussing this very thing. I loved Easter baskets and egg hunts as a kid and want to enjoy that part of the holiday with my two boys, but he doesn't want to do anything that is mainstream or related to the other religious aspects of the holiday.

I was thinking of keeping the Easter title but including more "welcome spring" type celebrations like planting flower seeds, visiting a petting zoo to see the new baby animals etc. along with the baskets, and egg hunt.

I am also looking for a good pagan story of spring (not the persphone story that's too dark) to read to them. Any ideas would be great!

Blessings,
Nichol
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#6 of 22 Old 03-16-2005, 02:59 PM
 
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We do Easter stuff like color eggs, have baskets of goodies, and all that. We just call it a spring celebration, and relate it to the Equinox. I will teach DD about the Christian aspects of Easter, so that she understands what other people believe, though, when she's older and able to understand.

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#7 of 22 Old 03-16-2005, 03:49 PM
 
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We celebrate the start of spring We dye eggs with natural things, make an egg rune tree, plant seeds, make a spring altar, eat chocolate and be happy lol. I'm going to try and get over to the Ostara service at the UU fellowship as well. We eat treats but don't always do baskets and such.

My kids know about the Christian Easter. As a Wiccan who has a relationship with Jesus, the resurrection story fits just fine into celebrating the renewal of the earth.

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#8 of 22 Old 03-16-2005, 07:24 PM
 
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I am pagan and dh is non-religious. We live with my parents who are Christian. So we celebrate the major Christian Holidays (Christmas and Easter) but we do it secular style. Even when I was a kid my parents never did the whole religious thing. My father seems to have suddenly found religion (and a very closed mind to go with it) since his mother died in 2001. So we do the whole deal, colored eggs, candy, basket of goodies and the all important easter egg hunt. Ds has a blast and I have to say that I rather enjoy it too. I just smile to myself as my parents think that they are winning by having their grandson participate in Christian celebrations, meanwhile I know that all of the trappings of Easter are actually pagan. Sometimes we go to Ostara celebrations at the UU church, and sometimes we just do them alone. Either way we have fun and enjoy the coming of Spring (of course here in Tx by the time Spring has officially started it feels more like summer.)
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#9 of 22 Old 03-16-2005, 07:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColwynsMommy
My husband and I are pagans, although we don't really practice. We don't want to celebrate Easter in the traditional Christian sense, naturally, but I would like Colwyn to still get a basket of goodies and do an egg hunt.

Are there any other pagan families that don't celebrate Easter religiously but do the secular parts like baskets and egg hunts? Do you call them something different? All I could come up with was a basket from the Spring Bunny, but that sounds kind of lame.

Thanks!
I don't think it sounds lame. How about a Celebration Basket?
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#10 of 22 Old 03-16-2005, 08:14 PM
 
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I *love* Easter! It's one of my absolute favorites because even in its mainstream Christian form it is so pagan. Easter is just so wonderfully pagan. The eggs, bunnies, baskets, spring, flowers....love it and all based on pagan celebrations and rituals from back in the day when Paganism was the mainstream religion. Enjoy your baskets. I don't worry about the name Easter either because it is so close sounding to Ostara.
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#11 of 22 Old 03-16-2005, 08:48 PM
 
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We are doing an Ostara celebration this Sunday by hiding eggs and having a "spring feast" and we'll welcome in the season with some spring themed arts and crafts and a god/goddess story.

I'm really excited because Cort is old enough this year to really get into such things.
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#12 of 22 Old 03-16-2005, 10:22 PM
 
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We usually celebrate Ostara with the things I grew up as Easter traditions - egg hunt, basket of goodies, etc. Last year I made all my own chocolates, but not this year with a new baby. It's only too bad Ostara will never come after Easter cuz we could get some cheap candy! I've had issues with what to call the holiday as my non-religious dh seems to be more comfortable with 'easter' as that's what he's used to. I told him this year that's ok, cuz it's pagan rooted anyway.
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#13 of 22 Old 03-17-2005, 08:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kleine Hexe
I *love* Easter! It's one of my absolute favorites because even in its mainstream Christian form it is so pagan. Easter is just so wonderfully pagan. The eggs, bunnies, baskets, spring, flowers....love it and all based on pagan celebrations and rituals from back in the day when Paganism was the mainstream religion.
May I ask what is this mainstream universal Pagan religion of which you speak?
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#14 of 22 Old 03-17-2005, 09:00 PM
 
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We celebrat Ostara-the spring equinox, the greening of the earth. This year it's one week before Easter, so that makes it even easier. All of the fertility symbols associated with Easter (flowers, eggs, bunnies, chicks, etc) are all very appropriate for this celebration. We have a book that tells a story of the Goddess Ostara, and her magical hare. The kids usually make a grass nest for the Ostara hare to leave colored eggs in.
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#15 of 22 Old 03-17-2005, 09:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaryLLL
May I ask what is this mainstream universal Pagan religion of which you speak?
I was speaking *very* generally. I'm using Pagan here as an umbrella term for all the religions that were/are nature based like native american religions, african tribal religions, and europe (just to name a few examples) all before Christianity began spreading. By saying "mainstream" I was saying that nature based religion was the core base for beliefs, customs, and rituals. I was not trying to say that everyone at one time was a Wiccan, or a Druid, or a Shaman, etc. Sorry for any implications as such.
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#16 of 22 Old 03-17-2005, 09:45 PM
 
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Kris, can you tell me more about this book about Ostara? Authour? Title? I'm really intrigued because I've been writing one for a couple years, as I had been unable to find anything like that.
TIA
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#17 of 22 Old 03-17-2005, 09:46 PM
 
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Our family calls it Ostara, though we don't pretend that the name Easter doesn't mean the same day. My oldest daughter lives in two different homes, one mainstream (dads) and one Pagan (mine) So I kinda have to do things differently sometimes.

I do get a basket of "goodies" for my kids that has all the typical things in it. I usually get them something they can use though, and not just eat. I think thats a particular pet peeve of mine as a parent though! LOL My daughter enjoys getting spring clothes and things in her basket. This year she is in Spiral Scouts and they are having an Ostara ritual that we'll be going to. We'll also be dying eggs naturally here at home, and talking about Spring and the earth warming back up. My daughter actually loves the story of Persephone! I read her one from Starhawks "Circle Round" book and she has it practically memorized now! :LOL

I guess the only thing I don't do is put emphasis on "the easter bunny." We talk about fertility and bunnies, and eggs... but a bunny doesn't hop down the lane here and hand out baskets. KWIM? I don't have anything against it, its just not what I want to emphasize.

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#18 of 22 Old 03-18-2005, 03:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kleine Hexe
I was speaking *very* generally. I'm using Pagan here as an umbrella term for all the religions that were/are nature based
Oh cool, cuz I never know what to call myself, lol
We love easter! My ds who is 11 does not want to look for eggs this year, but will help his 2 yr old sister Dh is a non practicing christian who loves marshmellow bunnies, lol
I've been talking about spring all week with my dd, and am gradually adding more spring items to our nature table.
And this Sat i am going to my first ritual to celebrate Ostara and Spring, I'm so excited!
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#19 of 22 Old 03-18-2005, 06:32 AM
 
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I would like to know the name of the Ostara book also! I have been looking and looking for one. We use Ostara's Day and Easter interchangeably. We celebrate on the Equinox with a basket and an egg hunt. Ostara's bunnies come to our house and hide the eggs. We leave a carrot and lettus on our altar for her bunnies. I love the eggs and bunnies and flowers and all. For breakfast we are having "eggs in a nest" (toast with a circle cut out of the center and an egg fried in the hole. Mmm) Because everything is starting to melt - not popping up yet- we focus a great deal on water and the gifts of Yamaya. Ds calls her Omaya and is closer to her than any God/Goddess. He talks with her and sings to her. I love it. We are going to plant a bulb and some sunflower seeds too. Easter happens a week later at the grandparents house and it is more about getting things. : I tell ds that we are going to Oma's for a Spring Celebration called Easter. I don't quite know how to explain why the bunnies are going to her house a week late. It was easier with Santa. He goes to different houses on different days - think of how many houses he would have to visit in one night otherwise! He is one lucky kid though cause he always gets to do it all twice!
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#20 of 22 Old 03-18-2005, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the suggestions everyone! I think we'll do a Spring Celebration instead of calling it Easter. Hopefully my parents will be satisfied with that.. I think my mom just wants Colwyn to get a basket of goodies.

So, my next question is.. Sunday is the "official" start of spring, but we still have two feet of snow on the ground. Does anyone wait until spring is more apparent, or does everyone celebrate on Sunday? I'm just imagining how interesting it'll be taking Colwyn outside to find eggs hidden in the snow, rather than in the grass.

-Rachel
Mommy to Colwyn, 10/03 ~ Lachlann, 8/05 ~ Fiona, 6/08 ~ Niall, 5/10
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#21 of 22 Old 03-19-2005, 12:56 PM
 
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This year, I am making up a basket for DD with a felt board and cutouts for the story of Idunna and her apples. Next week I'll take her to an Easter/Ostara/Spring celebration with a group of AP moms out here that's really diverse. We're going to have an egg hunt, etc.

As a kid (spent my early childhood in Idaho) we usually did our family egg hunt in the living room.

Ostara/Easter can be seen as about the promise/coming of spring to a great degree. May Day is for celebrating the accomplished fact, while Spring-finding/Imbolc was about hoping/praying for spring and the earliest signs of it, such as calving and first milk of the season.

If you're still under snow and such, you could, if you wanted, wait until you see the first shoots/buds of new spring growth in your local plants.

I live in the desert, so with the "traditional" temperate holidays I tend to focus on the myths rather than on our immediate environment. I'm also working on incorporating seasonal holidays marking the coming of the rainy season, etc.

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#22 of 22 Old 03-19-2005, 11:45 PM
 
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We have the bunny and eggs and candy here, in baskets

I tried to convince the kids that we should have them on the Equinox, to disconnect from the Christian holiday, but they wanted to wait a week.go figure:LOL

"What will you do once you know?"
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