Sunday, March 23, 2008
Easter and Spring
Happy Easter-Happy Spring Equinox. No matter what you call it or how you celebrate, this time of year has been celebrated by all cultures since antiquity.
Of course Easter Sunday is a Christian celebration of Christ rising from the dead to take his place as the Son of God. But the Easter celebration has Pagan roots, long before Jesus Christ, with celebrations honoring the goddess of Spring. The Spring Equinox, when crops are fertilized and there is a balance of daylight and night, has been an important time for hundreds of centuries.
Think about it...making it through the long dark winter, when there were no lights, no convenience stores, no fresh food and no treatments for pneumonia or childbirth was a marvel. Just being alive at the end of each winter must have been a cause for celebration. Seeing the first flowers bloom and the first sprouts of food crops meant you would live. Getting together with neighbors and relatives to dance and sing and eat was a testament to life. Eggs and rabbits are a universal symbol for fertility and life.
The Christian Easter also falls near the time of the Jewish festival of Passover, one of the most important feasts in the Jewish calendar. This year, Passover will begin on April 5th.
So no matter what your religion, I wish you a happy Spring and good health and I hope you take any excuse for a day of celebration!
Posted by Toni Brayer, MD at 12:27 PM