Ēostre or Ostara is a Germanic goddess who is the namesake of the festival of Easter in many languages. During April, the pagan Anglo-Saxons held feasts in Ēostre’s honor, but this tradition died out over time and was replaced by the Christians, as a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus.

Ostara can be found in Germanic mythology as the Saxon goddess of the spring. It was her responsibility to bring the spring each year. She’s associated with the rising sun and also fertility. Spring is a time of birth, creation, light, and growth. Ostara, also called Eostre, represented all those things.

Eostre had a festival of her own on the Spring Equinox. It will not surprise you to learn Eostre was associated with rabbits, the lunar moon, and colored eggs. As she was the spring goddess of fertility, an egg was her symbol. Easter occurs on the first Sunday after a full moon, after the Spring Equinox. These ties are one explanation for how bunnies and eggs became connected to modern Easter activities. However, not much was documented about Eostre; she is barely mentioned thought Germanic pathology and it’s possible she was simply an invention of the scholarly Christian monk during the 8th century.

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