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There is something about the beginning of Spring that helps us know that Winter is complete. We start to see little buds on the trees, the sun sets later in the day, and it even though it might still be a little chilly outside, people get more active. I love Springtime and seeing the trees, plants, and animals wake up from their long Winter slumber and reach for the warmth of the Sun.
In Celtic tradition, there are meanings or symbols representing the emergence of Spring, the Vernal Equinox, and the Easter Celebration.
The Origin of Modern Springtime Symbols
Baby Chicks, Animals, and Eggs
Of course, baby chicks and other animals would symbolize new life. Spring and the Equinox are all about fertility, and rebirth, and in Celtic Tradition, it was also the beginning of preparing the fields for planting. The eggs also symbolize the Tomb where Christ emerged when he rose again. The meanings of rebirth are also associated with the Circle of Life. Animals hunt their prey; the prey dies and becomes one with the Earth. The animals feed off the Earth, to grow and reproduce and the circle begins again. Spring represents the cycle starting over as life emerges from the dormant Winter months.
The Easter Bunny
The Easter Bunny comes from the Pagan Goddess Eostre who was the personification of Spring. Eostre would emerge from the Faerie forest bringing flowers, sunshine, and warmth. In Celtic Tradition (in Ireland) there are Eostre Festivals (or Fertility Festivals) that celebrate the Spring Equinox or emergence of Springtime. The Easter Bunny is considered not only new life but also meant abundance. This was something that held great importance for a rich and prosperous growing season for all crops for the Celts.
The butterfly is more of a symbol of Easter because it represents the cycles of the life of Jesus Christ. The first stage is the caterpillar and Jesus’ life on Earth. The second stage is the cocoon and Jesus going through the Crucifixion and burial. The final stage is the beautiful butterfly as Jesus rises from the dead as the embodiment of peace and new life for the World. In Celtic tradition and other cultures, the butterfly symbolizes transformation and inspiration. It is also said that if a person saw a butterfly in early Spring, it would be a long year of money or treasures showered on the person or the person’s household, so start looking now!
Spring is finally upon us! It is finally time to emerge from our winter shelters, enjoy warmer and sunnier days, and breathe in the clean, fresh air. It is time for a rebirth of our gardens, our trees, and even ourselves.