Nearly every religion has similar holidays - something at the solstices and equinoxes having to do with lights and fire and the return or leaving of the Sun.
And since the growing seasons change with increasing or decreasing sunlight there is something in between, such as All Hallow's Eve (Hallowe'en) which marks the end of the growing season and the start of the cold, dark, leafless winter, and Easter which marks the start of spring flowers.
Many of the "Christian" holidays on the calendar have ancient roots. Missionaries knew that you can't just erase old customs, so they re-branded them.
Eōstre is an example. Now it is attached to the lunar calendar (the 1st Sunday after the 1st full moon after the equinox) but it is very much a spring holiday.
Eōstre appears to have been a Germanic / Celtic goddess of the return of life in the spring (rebirth, like the Christian Easter and the Jewish Passover - note that the Spanish name for Easter is Pascua) and fertility in general. She has given her name to Easter and the "female" hormone estrogen. Her ancestors would have included fertility goddesses going back through Astarte and Ishtar.
|The Seder plate - eggs, green plants,|
eggs, and the Paschal lamb.
Easter and its cognates are about the return of life in the spring. The symbols of these holidays are the symbols of fertility, such as eggs, green plants, baby chicks and rabbits.
Another spring equinox holiday is Nevruz, an ancient Persian holiday still celebrated in Turkey. According to the old Persian calendar, the equinox is the first day of the year and the start of spring. Sound familiar? I'm off to check it out this year.
|Dutchman's will soon be blooming.|