Oestara (more commonly known as Ostara), aka the Spring Equinox is almost here. This year it's on Saturday 20th March (tomorrow!). I normally post on Sundays or Mondays but wasn't able to get this finished earlier, so I'm posting today instead. :)
Note: For those in the Southern Hemisphere it's nearly time for Madron/Mabon aka the Autumn Equinox. You might like these posts:
Madron/Autumn Equinox Celebration Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/09/madronautumn-equinox-celebration-ideas.html
Celebrating Madron/Autumn: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/09/celebrating-madron-autumn.html
Madron Inspiration: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/09/madron-inspiration.html
Baking for Madron + Extra Ideas!: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2020/09/baking-for-madron-extra-ideas.html
For the past few years, I've written posts with ideas for celebrating Oestara and spring. You can read them at the links below:
Oestara/Spring Equinox Celebration Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/03/oestaraspring-equinox-celebration-ideas.html
Celebrating Oestara + Spring: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/03/celebrating-oestara-spring.html
Oestara Celebration Inspiration: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/03/oestara-celebration-inspiration.html
Oestara + Spring Inspiration: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2020/03/oestara-spring-inspiration.html
Since I've already written quite a few celebration/inspiration posts, this year I'm just writing a brief background and sharing a few new links. :)
Oestara is the 2nd spring festival on the Wheel of the Year, coming after Imbolg/Imbolc at the beginning of February and Beltane at the end of April/beginning of May. It is more commonly known as Ostara, but I first came across it as "Oestara" in Kate West's books The Real Witches' Kitchen and The Real Witches' Handbook.The name relates to the Goddess Eostre.
Oestara, which is around 20th March every year is also the time of the Spring Equinox, when day and night are roughly equal. (The opposite to the Autumn Equinox and Madron/Mabon in September). You can read more about it in last year's post: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2020/03/oestara-spring-inspiration.html
Themes of this festival include spring, fertility and balance. It's also thought to be the precursor to the Christian Easter. Read more about them both here: http://www.themagickkitchen.com/easter-vs-ostara/
Visit my previous Oestara posts linked above for lots of inspiration ! :)
And here are some more posts with celebration ideas:
Spring Equinox history and ritual ideas (The Peculiar Brunette): https://www.thepeculiarbrunette.com/spring-equinox-history-traditions-correspondences-and-simple-ritual-ideas/
10 Free and Low-Cost Ways to Celebrate Ostara (Witchcrafted Life): https://witchcraftedlife.com/10-free-and-low-cost-ways-to-celebrate-ostara/
Another post from The Peculiar Brunette with ideas for rituals and decorating with eggs: https://www.thepeculiarbrunette.com/spring-equinox-ritual-ideas-for-ostara-and-decorating-with-eggs/
10 Ways to Celebrate Spring (post is from 2019, pre-lockdowns): https://mamabearoutdoors.com/2019/03/21/10-ways-to-celebrate-spring/
Five Ways to Use Eggs for Ostara Spellwork: https://www.fivesixteenthsblog.com/2020/04/five-ways-to-use-eggs-for-ostara.html
Ostara crafts, DIY projects and more ideas from Witchcrafted Life: https://witchcraftedlife.com/35-wonderful-ostara-crafts-diy-projects-and-decor-ideas-for-the-spring-equinox/
I usually bake a cake or biscuits as my main celebration and put Cadbury Mini Eggs on top to fit the theme of spring and fertility! I've made no-bake/fridge cakes a few times too. This year I've decided to make a Birdies Perch Malteser slice, one of my favourite things to "no-bake"! You can read more about it and find a link to the recipe by Sam Stern here: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2013/09/birdies-perch-malteser-slice.html
I last made it for Oestara in 2016. You can see a picture here: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2016/03/oestara-2016.html
You can find more baking inspiration in last year's post: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2020/03/oestara-spring-inspiration.html
I'm also planning to go up to my favourite nature reserve or on around Oestara and take sunset pics. That's another thing I like to do. It's nice to mark the beginning of the new season and observe changes by being out in nature, and visiting one of your favourite places.
In the past I've dyed eggs, for both Oestara and Easter and sometimes it's worked better than others. Check out my Easter 2019 post for links to some posts about egg dyeing: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/04/easter-2019.html
The five sixteenth's blog post ( Five Ways to Use Eggs for Ostara Spellwork) has a link for an easy dye. Find it above or click here. And you can find more methods in the Witchcrafted Life post and The Peculiar Brunette post also linked above. Plus, I shared some links with craft ideas in last year's inspiration post.
As I mentioned in the Winter Photos + Preparing for Spring post, this month it's a year since we first went into lockdown in the UK, due to the coronavirus. I actually published my Oestara 2020 post on the day we went into lockdown! I normally start to write these posts a bit in advance, so I must have already written it and then published it just before the news was announced. It seems weird to look back on it.
While we're still in our 3rd lockdown in England, we're starting to come out gradually and hopefully restrictions will lift more over the next few months (providing it's safe to do that). Last year was difficult and uncertain, and things are still up and down right now. I hope that everyone is doing ok, and you're able to enjoy celebrating Oestara, even though your celebration might still look different right now. :)
Hope you enjoyed the post and got some inspiration. I will do a post about my Oestara next week. Happy Oestara/Spring Equinox! (Or Happy Madron/Autumn Equinox!). :)
Photo: Daffodils in Southwick. Moonsparkle 2021.