For me, Easter symbolizes rebirth, just as Christians celebrate it for the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter was named for a Saxon goddess known as Ostara (Oestre/Eastre), who was a symbol of the dawn and the spring. In ancient times, eggs were a potent symbol of fertility and often used in rituals. To this day, rural midwives – such as those in the Appalachian Mountains – embrace this philosophy by predicting the sex of an unborn child by dangling the egg from a string over the belly and watching the rotation. For centuries and across many cultures, decorated eggs have been tokens to wish for prosperity and abundance in the coming year.
Easter has rooted itself deep in my chest as my favorite holiday. Do you know that feeling as you walk out to witness the first snowfall of the year? It is the loudest calm I have ever heard. For a moment, I find myself holding my breath in the wake of the quiet stillness, witnessing a transcendental display of the turning of another new page in the year. To me, Easter symbolizes another turning page: awakening the new year. It’s the first sunny day after a long, cold winter: where people come pouring from their houses to fill the streets of the city. This is my New Year – buzzing with life and growth, emerging from winter and budding towards the sun.