Spring Celebrations Through the Ages
By Karen Michelle Nutt
There are pagan and religious holidays associated with spring. The earliest reference to a spring celebration dates back to Babylon, 2400 BCE. The city of Ur’s celebration was dedicated to the moon and the spring equinox. On the spring equinox Zoroastrians celebrated, No Ruz, the new day or New Year.
To the Celts, the equinoxes and the solstices were the holy times of transition, where nature and life cycles renew. Alban Eiler means ‘Light of the Earth.’ It was the first day of spring where day and night were equal. The spring equinox was celebrated before the Celtic tribes arrived in Ireland. There are ancient Irish equinox temples in Knowth. This is near Newgrange or ‘Brú na Boinne.’ Knowth has a 100-foot long passage that accepts the Sun on the morning of the Spring and the Autumn Equinox. In Longhcrew, ‘Cairn’ is an older stone cairn equinox temple.
Easter is derived from Eostre, the name of the Anglo-Saxon lunar goddess. Eostre’s feast day was held on the first full moon following the vernal equinox. On this day, the goddess was believed to mate with the solar god and a child would be born nine months later on Yule, the winter solstice on December 21st.
Eostre’s important symbols were the hare and the egg. The hare represented the full moon and fertility. The egg represented growth and possible new life. Even today these two symbols are popular with the modern Easter celebrations.
Rabbits have long been associated with fertility and birth. There is a German legend where a poor woman had decorated colorful eggs for her children to find. As soon as the children found the hidden eggs, a large bunny was spotted hopping away. Some believe this is how the legend of the Easter Bunny was started.
Interesting Facts About Spring and Easter Eggs:
If you were standing on the equator during either the vernal equinox or autumnal equinox, you would see the sun pass directly overhead, the only two times in the year when this happens. These two equinoxes is the only time the sun rises due east and sets due west.
In Spring, the Earth’s axis is tilted toward the sun, increasing the number of daylight hours.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records the largest Easter egg ever made was over 25 feet high and made of chocolate and marshmallow. The egg weighed 8,968 lbs.
The custom of giving eggs at Easter time has been traced back to Egyptians, Persians, Gauls, Greeks and Romans, to whom the egg was a symbol of life.
Blurb for Lucca: Warriors for the Light (Fallen Angels Novel, Book 2)
Lucca Marlowe is half human, half angel, a Nephilim who abhors humans. Banished for crimes against one of his fellow brethren, the elders bind his glamour and wings, casting him to the human’s realm. He’ll either learn to respect his human side of existence or live out eternity trying.
Lucca does not live a mundane life. Angels and demons demand he do their bidding. His estrange father resurfaces after centuries of being absent and he’s brought a friend from Hell.
To make his life more complicated, he fears he found his soul mate in a human female. Only Juliet Romeo has a secret that will bring the wrath of Heaven down upon their heads.
It’s a race against time to find out who will end up with his soul.
About the Author:
Karen Michelle Nutt lives in California with her husband, three fascinating children, four dogs and three cats. Jack, her Chihuahua/Yorkshire terrier is her writing buddy and sits long hours with her at the computer.
Her Book, Lost in the Mist of Time, was nominated for New Books Review Spotlight Best Fantasy Book of the Year Award 2006. A Twist of Fate was a nominee for Best Time Travel P.E.A.R.L. Award for 2008. Creighton Manor won Honorable Mention P.E.A.R.L. Award 2009.
In her spare time, Ms. Nutt reviews books for PNR-Paranormal Romance Reviews. An avid reader of history, romance and the paranormal, she tends to combine all three in her writings.
Fallen Angels, Vampires and shape shifters embrace her darker side where their worlds intertwine with ours. She enjoys travel, old movies, books and the chance to weave a tale.
Visit the author at: http://www.kmnbooks.com/
Stop by her blog for Monday interviews, chats and contests at: http://kmnbooks.blogspot.com/