Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter/Ostara/Pesach 2017

At this time, Christians celebrate Easter. Jews celebrate Pesach, or Passover. Pagans celebrate Ostara. Muslims observe Al Isra' wal Miraj, Mohammed's Ascension to Heaven.  All these holy days have common elements.

Egypt celebrates Sham el Nessim. In India, the celebration is Baisakhi, the Punjabi New Year. Cultural groups throughout the Northern Hemisphere celebrate Spring, coming Summer, blossoming and rebirth.

Underlying each celebration of Spring is an acknowledgement of renewal, of rebirth, of resurrection. We watch each Fall as around us all of nature fades and either passes into the season of hibernation or lays down its living self to become part of the mulch. Winter brings with it the strong time of hibernation and struggle for survival.

When Spring comes and the greenery breaks through, we rejoice. When our domesticated animals begin their season of reproduction, we rejoice. In the midst of the new work of planting and birthing and coaxing growth, we set aside time to rejoice.

The greatest element in this time of year is resurrection. Everywhere we look there is new life. Even though our minds recognize that it is the usual cycle of the seasons, our spirits are moved by that internal cognizance of nature's rebirth.

Each and every culture celebrates the renewal of life. This is one thing we share, no matter what language, culture, religion, gender, ethnicity. This is a time of rejoicing ~ and we would do well to acknowledge it and participate in the joy.

How do you celebrate the renewal brought by Spring? How has your family historically celebrated? What is different about your celebration from your family's? How do your neighbors celebrate? your friends? your co-workers or classmates? What are the similarities between the celebrations? What are the differences? What brings you the most joy in this time of resurrection, rebirth and renewal?

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