Joyful Easter Celebration

Today we participated in an Easter celebration with friends from a variety of religious backgrounds (Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, Atheist). It was a perfect day: sunshine, birds chirping, grass greening, and the leisure to allow the morning to unfold into the afternoon.

goldfinches in tree

goldfinches in tree

Our hostess had hidden 10 dozen colored eggs in her gardens and we all wandered off, basket in hand, to find the pagan symbol of fertility. She had told us that there was one very special egg, a golden one, more difficult to find than all the others. Whoever found the golden egg would win a prize. We wandered along the fence, the stream, trudged through the flower beds with blooming daffodils, looked into bushes and trees and came up with loads of eggs (and one prayer flag):

But the best part was being outside, walking on green grass, basking in the sunshine we all had been missing this winter. The dog was helping us look, too, and ended up eating two eggs in the process.

In the very end, with gentle directional prodding from the hostess, the youngest among us found the golden egg:

The golden egg

The golden egg

Hunting easter eggs makes you hungry, so while some peeled a large amount of the gathered (hard-boiled) eggs for egg salad, others got busy in the kitchen putting the final touches on all the food that had been brought:
muffins, asparagus-egg casserole, fresh lettuce greens, pancakes, sausage, cheese… it was a big feast when we finally sat down around the festive table.

table decorations

table decorations

Notice the chocolate bunnies, another ancient symbol of fertility.
The Christian celebration of Easter (the resurrection of the crucified Christ) has somehow incorporated the fertility symbols of the Assyrian goddess Ishtar (eggs and rabbits); probably a result of the blending of earlier pagan spring celebrations with the spreading Christian religion.

For more information about the origin of Easter symbols, you may want to read this fascinating article.

On the way home, we saw another Easter symbol, peacefully grazing in the pasture:

two sheep

About Beauty Along the Road

My name is Annette. I am passionate about nature, health, simplicity, self-reliance, truth, and life-long learning. Originally from Germany, I now live in Virginia, USA. I am a therapist, health coach, writer, photographer, and organic gardener.
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19 Responses to Joyful Easter Celebration

  1. What a delightful way to spend Easter. I was thinking of all the fun we used to have with egg hunts when my son was little, but you have reminded me that we can enjoy the same games as adults. Loved the colours of the eggs, and that table was a feast for eyes before the food even arrived!
    I always thought the hare/rabbit and egg were symbols of Ostera, a pagan British goddess, but Ishtar makes sense too๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. Aggie says:

    Nice celebration! Something came across our Facebook page yesterday saying that Ishtar is even pronounced “Easter.”

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    • I saw that, Aggie, but I think the correct pronounciation of Ishtar would be “eesh-tar”; so close, but not quite the same. The German word for Easter is Ostern which resembles the British/Teutonic pagan goddess Ostera (see greenmackenzie’s comment). so I am thinking that Ishtar and Ostera probably were the same Earth Mother symbol.

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  3. tree girl says:

    Such a lovely celebration.

    Those yellow birds are sublime.

    What was the prize for finding the golden egg?

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  4. Annette, sending you belated Easter greetings. Sounds as though you had a relaxing and eclectic celebration yesterday. Also enjoyed the Easter symbolism tidbits that you sprinkled in.๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. randee says:

    I love the goldfinches in the tree! We don’t have them here.

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  6. My family unexpectedly missed much of Easter because my husband had to go to the ER (he is going to be FINE thank god) – it was a mini-observance just looking at your pictures, a balm to tired eyes.

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    • Thank you for stopping by, Patty. I am sorry to hear about your husband, glad he is ok. I also enjoy looking at other people’s celebrations; each one is so unique and so often we blend one or more cultural traditions.

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  7. Sweet idea. Love it when folks are so creative in celebrating. And you know a lot about the symbols that I hadn’t heard!
    Carol
    http://www.carolcassara.com

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  8. What a feast! You really had a very nice Easter Sunday, a nice post! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  9. suzjones says:

    It sounds delightful. What a wonderful way to spend the day.

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  10. dadirri7 says:

    sounds ideal! I love that they were mostly hard-boiled eggs to be found … all those cheap chocolate eggs are hard to assimilate and send youngsters into a spin … well done, and thank you for mentioning the lovely symbols of Easter too๐Ÿ™‚

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  11. Beautiful Easter post, Annette. Those lambs are the winners for me.๐Ÿ™‚

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