I am making this topic due to bad information in my other topic I deleted when a moderator took time out of her schedule to educate me. Thank you to that moderator as it prompted me to research it to learn more.
Ostara is the modern agreed upon spelling of the German Pagan Fertility Festival during Spring Equinox, March Twenty.
Easter is the Christian day to celebrate Christ resurrection. It is celebrated the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox March Twenty. It is rich with Pagan traditions as Pagans were the first Christian converts and brought many of their traditions with them.
I will dye eggs this Sunday as I celebrate pagan holidays but stay with Christian relatives until I get a new place. I also learned something new today that I had been wrong about for years. Yay :-)
I always celebrate it on the 21 but as Lark said it varies. This year it was the 20th. I'm currently reading a book [To Walk a Pagan Path] and according to the author some pagan traditions have a spring holiday [similar to Ostara] that's counted the same way as Easter. [One moon cycle after spring]
Ostara is the celebration of spring, so think spring for your celebration; spring colours, budding flowers, new born animals, dairy. The story behind the bunny and eggs have different tales, the one I heard was a rabbit found a robins egg and decided to paint it in bright colours as a gift to the Goddess. She loved it so much she asked him to share it with the children. That's just one version I've heard a couple.
From what I understand, most Christian holidays were placed on top of Pagan celebrations centuries ago. But if you notice, the Pagan traditions end up still showing through.
You can do a Google search and find tons of info about Easter and other holidays online. I found this one to be particularity interesting: (http://www.goodnewsaboutgod.com/studies/holidays2.htm) and am pasting an excerpt here.
Easter: It's Totally Pagan too!
Easter is not a Christian name. It is Chaldean (Babylonian) in origin - the name Astarte, one of the titles of Beltis, the queen of heaven. The name Astarte, as found on the Assyrian monuments by the noted archeologist Layard, was the name Ishtar. The worship of Bel and Astarte was introduced very early into Britain, along with the Druids, "the priests of the groves," the high places where the pagans worshipped the idols of Baal. In the Almanac of the 1800's, May 1st is called Beltane, from the pagan god, Bel. The titles Bel and Molech both belong to the same god.
We must remember that Semiramis (also known as Ishtar) of Babylon, the wife of Nimrod and mother of Tammuz, was the same goddess worshiped throughout the world under various names, such as the Egyptian fertility god, Artemis, the Roman goddess of licentiousness, Venus, the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, and the Ephesian, many-breasted fertility god, Diana, as well as many others.
The (Easter) bunny, the oldest pagan symbol of fertility - Semiramis - has absolutely NOTHING to do with the resurrection of Christ.
Nor does the Sunrise service. Jesus was resurrected while it was still DARK!
"And early came Mary Magdalene, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre." John 20:1
Sunrise services are for the worship of the Pagan Sun god - ONLY! In addition, Jesus was NOT resurrected on Sunday, the first day of the week. Please see the study entitled "Was Jesus Really Resurrected on Sunday?" at www.goodnewsaboutgod.com
One mythological legend says that sometime after Semiramis died, a huge egg dropped from heaven. Out of the egg came a re-incarnated Semiramis, now a goddess. The Babylonian Talmud refers to her as Ishtar, or Easter.
The forty days of Lent symbolize one day for each year of Tammuz' life. This period of time is celebrated in the "Christian" church by giving up something to mourn the death - of Tammuz, the son of the pagan goddess Semiramis!
Ezekiel 8:13,14 tells us what God thinks about any festival that recognizes Tammuz:
"The Lord said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they (the Israelites) do.
Then He brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord's house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz."
As late as the 19th century, in Great Britain, at Beltan (or the 1st of May) a number of men and women assembled at an ancient Druidical circle of stones near Crieff, to participate in an ancient worship feast to Baal.
The festival of Pasch, or the Passover, was very early observed by many professing Christians, in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Christ, although it cannot be traced back as far as the Apostles. But Pasch was observed by Christians a full month before the festival of Ishtar was celebrated by the Pagans. In addition, the festival of Ishtar (Easter) now observed in churches is far different from the original festival of Pasch.
The amalgamation of the Christian Pasch, as observed in Britain by the Christians, and the Pagan Easter enforced by Rome, occurred by violence and bloodshed. But at last, the Festival of the Anglo-Saxon or Chaldean goddess, Ishtar, came to supersede that which had been held in honor of Christ.
"The hot cross buns of Good Friday, and the dyed eggs of Easter Sunday figured in the Chaldean rites just as they do today. The buns,' known by the identical name, were used in the worship of the queen of heaven, the goddess Ishtar, as early as the days of Cecrops, the founder of Athens, that is, 1500 years BEFORE the Christian era. One species of sacred bread which used to be offered to the gods was called Boun.'" Hislop, Two Babylons, pg 107.
"The children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven. Jeremiah 7:18
The hot cross buns are not now offered, but eaten instead, on the festival of Easter (Astarte - Ishtar).
"The origin of the Pasch (Passover) eggs is just as clear. The ancient Druids bore an egg as the sacred emblem of their order. In the mysteries of Bacchus, as celebrated in Athens, one part of the nocturnal ceremony consisted in the consecration of an egg. The hindu fables celebrate their mundane egg as of a golden color. In China, even as late as the 19th century, dyed or painted eggs were used during sacred festivals.
"In ancient times, eggs were used in the religious rites of the Egyptians and the Greeks, and were hung up for mystic purposes in their temples. . . The classic poets are full of the fable of the mystic egg of the Babylonians.
"The occult meaning of the mystic egg of Astarte had reference to the ark during the time of the flood, in which the whole human race was shut up, as the chick is enclosed in the egg before it is hatched. And of course, the egg also refers to birth, or creation.
"Though the deified queen, whom Astarte represented, had no actual existence till some centuries after the flood, yet through the doctrine of metampsychosis, which was firmly established in Babylon, it was easy for her worshippers to be made to believe that, in a previous incarnation, she had lived in the Antediluvian world and passed safely through the waters of the flood. The Roman Catholic Church then adopted this mystic egg of Astarte, and consecrated it as a symbol of Christ's resurrection." Ibid pg 109,110.
The Bible clearly tells us what God considers the memorial of Christ's death and resurrection. It is NOT the pagan celebration of Easter, in honor of the pagan god, Ishtar. It is BAPTISM:
"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?
Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that just as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
"For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection:
"Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed (rendered inoperative), that henceforth we should not be slaves of sin." Romans 6:3-6
The memorial for Christ's death and resurrection is BAPTISM - - - NOT Easter!
There is NO doubt that Easter is a totally Pagan holiday.