21st / 22nd March
Also celebrated as: Eostre, Ostara, Easter, Alban Eilur
The Vernal or Spring Equinox is the time when day and night are briefly of equal length. As such it marks a turning point in the year as the balance has shifted from darkness in favour of light. In common with the other solar festivals the actual timing can vary by a day or so, luckily nowadays this information is readily available to all.
This festival is also widely known as Ostara (Eostre) who was the Norse Goddess of Spring, and whose companion was a hare that magically laid eggs. This "bunny" and her eggs have since become attached to the Christian festival of Easter, which in turn takes its name from Eostremonath, the Anglo-Saxon monath (month) that overlaps modern March/April.
In common with the Christian Easter, the theme of this time is one of rebirth, however there is no sacrifice at this time; it is simply the rebirth of Nature itself, the completion of the process begun at Imbolc.
In my ritual I like to toast with water, preferably natural spring water, and usually include a stone egg on my altar.
In the story of the Goddess and the God, the God is growing stronger as the days grow longer while the Goddess now walks the Earth clothing the land with a cloak of green.