Now, Eostre is a goddess of spring, rebirth and fertility, and in some cases the dawn. Eostre is also another name for Ostara. Beliefs in both paganism and heathenism are and were very similar throughout Europe; we however use the Scandinavian names as they are the most preserved. This however does not necessarily mean that they are the only ones. Our holiday of Ostara has turned into Easter, through various ways and methods. Everything from the colored eggs to the giants rabbits. The rabbit is one of the symbols and favorite animals of Ostara/Eostre.
Ostara, or the High Feast of Ostara, in the northern hemisphere, falls around March 20th. At this time, it is the Spring Equinox, signifying the ending of winter and the beginning of spring. Likewise, it is the beginning of a new cycle, one of growth, life, and rebirth. If winter signifies death, then spring signifies life. That is what Ostara represents at its core, the returning of life and light back to the world. It is a time of happiness, fertility, and new growth.
Ostara is a time to honor Frigg, Freya, Frey, Ostara (Eostre), Nerthus, the vaettir and Jord. It is a time to honor the powers within the lands and fertility. This is a festival of renewal, rejoicing and fertility, although for most of the Northern People, the forces of winter are still at full sway. In ancient times, the gift of colored eggs to one’s friends and loved ones was a way of wishing them well for the coming season; a magical ritual of prosperity and fecundity. The rabbit was the symbol of this festival as well because of its re-emergence during this season, and for its reproductive ability. Like most ancient heathen rituals, they are relegated into the world of children; held for naught among adults; but the memory lingers on.