At the beginning of the month I wrote a post on getting ready for spring. You can read that here:
Now it's almost officially here, Tuesday 20th March is the Spring Equinox, the first day of spring. It's also Oestara (or Ostara), so I thought I'd do a post on celebrating both Oestara and spring in general. :)
Note: If you're in the Southern Hempishere, Madron (or Mabon) and autumn are coming up for you. In that case you may like this post: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/09/madronautumn-equinox-celebration-ideas.html
Ironically we're having wintry weather again, like when I wrote my post about getting ready for spring! We're having what they're calling the "Mini beast from the East" in the UK. It's around 0 degrees Celsius (32F) here in Sussex and is snowing as I write this. But hopefully spring isn't too far away!
Last year I wrote a post on Oestara and Spring Equinox celebration ideas. Check it out here: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/03/oestaraspring-equinox-celebration-ideas.html
Here are some more links about Oestara and celebration ideas:
http://www.witchywords.com/2018/03/spring-equinox-ostara-ten-ideas-for.html (Now a private blog).
Michaela of Penniless Pagan suggests preparing your garden for spring and treating the bunnies by leaving some romaine lettuce or berries out for them. I like seeing rabbits in the countryside. :)
Erin from The Seasonal Soul has some nice ideas for families, including taking a walk and looking for signs of spring (No. 2) and lighting candles (No. 3). You can also read a poem on new beginnings (No. 4 on the list).
I'll probably also do Tess Whitehurst's idea of blessing chocolate eggs with new intentions again. And her Ostara spell for peace and joy.
Update 19/3/18: Tess has a new video about Ostara which you can watch here: https://tesswhitehurst.com/the-magic-of-ostara-energy-of-the-equinox/
For Oestara 2017 I made sugar cookie bars. I also made them in 2015. They never seem to be quite right but then I've never had any other type, so I don't really have anything to compare them to. I don't think they're that common in the UK but if I go to America in the future I'll try some! This year I'm baking a white chocolate Malteser cake and I'm going to put Mini Eggs on top for the Oestara theme. In 2016 I made a no-bake Malteser slice because my oven was broken then. I'll do a post about this year's Oestara next week. :)
Here is a fairy cake recipe that I linked to in last year's celebration post: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2014/04/oestara.html
And I recently made a lemon tray bake for Mother's Day. (UK Mother' Day is in March). It's a Mary Berry recipe and came out quite nice. You can find the recipe here: http://www.womanmagazine.co.uk/diet-food/mary-berrys-time-saving-tray-bake-7115
Here's a pic:
A Simnel cake is traditional in the UK around Easter time. If you fancy making one for Oestara here are a couple of links:
I've never baked one but I'm considering it for Easter.
Alternatively eggs are associated with this time of year (see below), so you could make an omelette as suggested in the Penniless Pagan post, or a quiche which is mentioned in the Seasonal Soul article.
Since two of the symbols of Oestara are eggs you could have a go at dyeing eggs. I did this in 2015 and although mine didn't come out so well, I'd like to have another go this year. I used the methods in this post:
You can also find some suggestions in the Witches of the Craft link above.
Get out in nature
With the weather (hopefully!) getting warmer and longer days, there's more opportunity to get out and go to the beach or the countryside, park, or just for a walk in your neighbourhood. I like to walk in the park year round although I sometimes don't go as much depending on the weather. As I wrote in my Getting Ready for Spring post, you can notice signs of spring. (I wrote then that we probably wouldn't get any more snow, but I was wrong!). I've seen lots of daffodils. Some died off with the recent snow but more came again. Here's a photo I took today of daffodils in the snow.
I plan to go to the beach on or around Oestara and take a picture of the sunset. That's something I like to do for the sabbats.
Easter Sunday will be on 1st April this year and if you're into baking, a good way to celebrate is by making some cakes or biscuits. Here are some links to some recipes I've made for Easter:
Easter biscuits: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2014/04/easter.html
Tres Leches cake: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2015/04/easter-cake.html
Frosted white chocolate cake: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/04/frosted-white-chocolate-easter-cake.html
I've made the frosted white cake twice and it's really nice.
Also here's one for no-bake Creme egg brownies from Elizabeth at "Ice Cream" whispers Clara: http://www.icecreamandclara.co.uk/2018/03/no-butter-gooey-creme-egg-brownies.html
I wrote about this in my previous spring post but I thought it was worth including again. Check out that post for spring cleaning links. Also here are a couple more posts:
I washed the kitchen floor the other day, something I'd been putting off! If you're having trouble deciding what to get rid of, then the first post from The Inspiration Lady gives you some ideas. And the second post from Meghan Telpner is about spring cleaning your thoughts which is a useful thing to do.
Enjoy the signs of spring
This is really a follow on from "Notice signs of spring" in my other spring post. I have noticed the days growing longer (the sun is setting around 6.11 pm now) and I feel as if the winter "oppression" is lifting. Although it may not feel like it at the moment with the snow, spring is getting nearer! The clocks will go forward on Sunday 25th March and we'll be on British Summer Time (BST).
I've been enjoying seeing the daffodils, walking in the park and going for a drive in the country with my family.
Watch spring themed films or TV
A fun way to celebrate is to watch something spring themed. The new Peter Rabbit film is out at the cinema currently, or you could watch the animated TV version. (I have the BBC TV Beatrix Potter series on DVD). Another rabbit themed movie is Watership Down. I'm not sure if I've seen that but I've probably seen a bit when it was on sometime. They often show Hugh Fearnley-Whittingtall's River Cottage Spring programmes as well, which are about spring food. Visit the River Cottage website here: https://www.rivercottage.net/
Hope you enjoyed the post and it gave you some ideas for celebrating Oestara and/or spring! Happy Oestara and Spring! (Or Happy Madron and Autumn depending where you are!). :)
*15/4/19: Page no longer found.
Photo at top: Daffodils in Southwick. Moonsparkle 2018.