Saturday, February 26, 2011

30 days of Ostara; Day 8

You really need to plan your March and Ostara, to make your Ostara the best holiday you can.
Think about what Ostara is, how the world and nature looks at this time of the year, and what are you looking after and waiting for.

It's still February, and it doesn't LOOK like Spring at all. I am anticipating that the snow melts and there will be small brooks everywhere. I'm waiting for the roads to turn from ice to sand. I'm waiting for the first "titityy" of the tits. I'm waiting for the first flowers of the Spring, the First butterfly, the smell of wet trees in the forest. I'm waiting for willow kittens. I'm waiting for the days to get warmer and longer and lighter. I'm waiting eagerly for the weather to get warm enough for me to get to my little balcony garden and start making it in order.
I will be decorating my house with all these things and their symbols. I will be making the REAL Spring come to my home before it comes outside, as sympathetic magic, inspiring Mother to "do it better". She will :-) I will be emulating Eostre as she travels through the nature and turns white into green, and make my home flower.

Then think about your favorite Holidays and feasts. Christmas, Samhain, birthdays? Tea party with your friends? Take all the details that make these feasts and holidays wonderful and lovely, and adjust them to fit Ostara.
I love Yule.
I love the long preparing streak, baking and preserving and filling the freezer with goodies to be eaten at Yuletide.
I love making cards and getting cards.
I love thinking about the presents, choosing presents, making presents, wrapping presents, giving presents and getting presents.
It's a tradition that at Ostara people get the new summer clothes, and wear them the first time at Spring Equinox. In Sweden there was also a tradition of Crane Eve, when the returning cranes left presents to children in their shoes and stockings. It was usually new tools or an exotic souvenir, as the cranes had been aboard ;-)
I love Yule carols and stories, in books and movies.
I love all the Saint days of December with their old traditions, like Lucia day, celebrated in Sweden, or St Nicholas' Day, celebrated in Holland.
I love the scents of freshly baking gingerbread and hyacinths, I love the sight of lights reflecting from Yule baubles and glitter, I love the sight of candles on every window, I love all the good tastes of Yule, and I love the carols and bells. And I love the feeling of love infusing the whole world. It's almost as strong as it was on my wedding day... I love the warm and fuzzy feeling of not being alone.

How about you?

And how will you be able to adjust this to fit Ostara?

A little gardening checklist for the month of March

Spring chick and Easter egg craft tutorial
European bread basket sew-along, parts 1, 2 and 3 - the last part, how to add  ties seems to be missing... weird. But there's another tutorial, a third, and a free pattern from Coats and Clark, to give you some ideas on how to move on.
It's really silly easy, so you could make several, in different sizes and make a display of them, or give to all your friends and relatives as Ostara gift :-D

In Ukraina the housewives showed off with an Easter basket. There were supposed to be at least one embroidered napkin or cloth, but the showiest SAHMs had two; one under the bread, the other covering the bread.
The bread is decorated with sun symbols and there's all kinds of superstitions concerning the bread. It's called Pashka. Pashka dough is similar to challah or brioche dough.
Upon placing the paska into the oven say: "Holy paska, be as grand and beautiful as the sun, because we are baking you for the sun. Let all members of our family be healthy. Let our children grow up as quickly as you grow. Come out as beautiful as you go in!"
In the basket should also be eggs, a little pot of butter, sweet cream cheese, spicy sausage (kovbasa/kielbasa) and a little horse radish and beets and salt.

Polish farmer's cheese and Polish cheese pierogis
Ukrainian sweet cheese dessert (baked)
Pashka cheese dessert (unbaked)

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