Ostara 2024: How Did Easter Spring From a Pagan Celebration?

Can you feel it? Spring is in the air, a season to celebrate the advent of longer days, observe nature's cycle of rebirth, and open yourself to the gifts of renewal and growth. Accordingly, this week, we will be exploring the Pagan holiday Ostara. When is Ostara in 2024? How do you celebrate Ostara? Read on to learn more about this ancient festival, along with some Ostara rituals you can incorporate into your life.

Exploring Easter's Origins 

Did you know that pagan traditions heavily influenced many modern-day Easter customs? These days, the holiday is chiefly associated with the Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, Pagans celebrated themes of rebirth each spring, long before the rise of Christianity. 

Eostre, Pagan Goddess

Eostre- also often referred to as Ostara- is an Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, renewal, and fertility. Hence, Pagans named this springtime celebration in her honor. What's more, her name is derived from the same root word as "east"- the direction of sunrise- emphasizing Eostre's significance as a goddess of the dawn and new beginnings.

Norse pagans in Scandinavia have historically celebrated several festivals marking the changing seasons. Ostara is therefore one of the key spring festivals, celebrated around the vernal equinox, or first day of spring. An equinox is a day of balance between light and darkness. This year, we celebrate Ostara on March 19th, 2024.

A handmade bar of Four Florals natural soap swirled with vibrant springtime colors

Our Spring Four Florals handcrafted soap is a blend of southern peach, lily-of-the-valley, wild rose, and lilac, to wash away your winter blues!

Symbols of Spring

The festival of Ostara involves various customs, such as decorating eggs and planting seeds, both activities reflecting the themes of renewal and growth. Various cultures have long associated eggs with new life, fertility, and rebirth. Birds of Valhalla puts a new spin on traditional Easter eggs with our Dragon's Egg Hand Soaps. It's available in 3 stunning metallic colors and scents: Neroli Jasmine, Blood Orange & Nag Champa, and Egyptian Amber.

Dragon's Egg Hand Soap in Red, Green, and Copper
Our Dragon's Egg Hand Soaps are ethically sourced from cage-free dragons.

Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back centuries and may have its roots in the earlier pagan custom of celebrating spring. Alternatively, it may stem from the Christian tradition of abstaining from eating eggs during Lent and then decorating and eating them on Easter as a celebration.

Lighting bonfires and candles, like the ones we have at BOV, are also common practices, representing the return of light and warmth. 

Rabbits and hares are symbols of fertility and springtime in various cultures, likely due to their prolific breeding. Accordingly, Eostre was accompanied by a hare that symbolized abundance and the promise of new life. Moreover, this hare was her messenger to herald the arrival of spring. 

A bar of carrot and turmeric handmade soap, stamped with an anarchy symbol and cute bunny, rests on a chaotic dash of bright orange turmeric.

The earliest known official connection of the Easter Bunny to Ostara was found in a book published in 1874 by Adolf Holtzmann. It featured a description of the German der Oster-Hase (Easter Hare), who hides colored eggs (die hasen-eier, meaning hare's eggs) for children to find, as well as established the rabbit/Ostara connection. Later, the Easter Bunny is believed to have been introduced to America by German immigrants in the 18th Century.

Birds of Valhalla has several delightful bunny-themed offerings for you:

  • Our Chocolate Bunny Hand Soaps are incredibly cute, and only available for a limited time. They smell just like the real thing, but resist the urge to take a bite!
  • Total Anarchy Carrot Turmeric Honey Soap is handcrafted with real carrot and turmeric, a blend as invigorating and refreshing as a spring rainfall in a carrot patch. Plus it's coconut-free!
  • Can't decide? Double the buns means double the fun in the BUN-dle! It features both of our adorable handmade bunny soaps at a delightful discount.

The roundedest and most adorable chocolate bunny you've ever seen.  

How To Celebrate Ostara

Just as ancient peoples honored the changing seasons and cycles of nature, modern Pagans celebrate Ostara as a time of spiritual renewal and connection to the earth. However, at Birds of Valhalla we believe everybody can celebrate these universal themes in whatever way is right for them. Here are some of the ways we're observing Ostara this year:

1. Observe this season of cleansing and renewal by starting some new self-care habits. Since this is also a time to connect with nature, we recommend the fresh grassy, cucumber, mint and melon notes of Ragnar's Revenge Soap. It's made with real cucumber and aloe, to help nourish and rehydrate your dry winter skin. It also now also comes in our unique, quirky Glass Skull Car Air Fresheners, so you can refresh the interior of your car for those upcoming warm weather drives.

A brilliant green bar of Ragnar's Revenge handmade moisturizing soap, surrounded by crystals

Nourish and rehydrate your dry skin with Ragnar's Revenge, handmade with real cucumber and aloe.

2. The ritual of spring cleaning has been practiced for centuries. This is the perfect time to clear your home of stagnant energy, and invite new growth. Light a new candle, like our Real Lavender - Norse Normandy Candle, as you visualize golden light filling your entire home and illuminating new ideas and purpose.  Go through your closets and donate old clothes or unneeded items. Revitalize your space by placing crystals in key locations around your home. Find out more about crystals by tuning into our Crystal Lives on Tuesdays, 9pm EST!

An assortment of items in the Norse Normandy fragrance- a candle, wax melts, solid cologne, and handmade soap, as well as a variety of crystals- on a pink background surrounded by real lavender.

3. After you're finished sprucing up your castle, invite over friends and family for a feast! This is an ideal way to renew old connections, exchange gifts, like the BOV Variety Box, and also recognize the abundance in your life. It's a great opportunity to ground yourself by cooking locally-sourced, natural foods, as well as foods traditionally associated with Ostara, such as eggs and seeds. 

4. Of course, to celebrate a time so rooted in the cycles of nature, getting out into the great outdoors is a must! Discover a new hiking trail, plant seeds in your garden, or cultivate your own fertile imagination by painting, sketching, or photographing landscapes and plants around your home. Birds of Valhalla offers a plethora of natural items, from handmade soaps to beard balm to help you connect with the earth and enjoy her gifts.


5. At the end of the day, turn inward and nourish your spirit. Celebrate this season of renewal and growth by starting new habits and creating positive changes in your own life. We suggest starting a daily journaling practice with our spiral notebook, or committing to reading 10 pages every day of a book like Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology Book.

Let us know in the comments how you're celebrating Ostara this year! Your comment will enter you into a random drawing for $50 in Birds of Valhalla store credit (prize money is not for use on live events, customs, or claims). Extra comments do not count as extra entries. 

Thanks for reading, and Happy Ostara!

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Love your blogs

Tammy Zuehlke

Loved the bit about the dragon egg’s being ethically sourced from cage-free dragon’s. Love finding silly things like that all over the site.

Lisa B.

Love reading all your blogs

Jake Mountjoy

I am obsessed with norse normandy.


Got a Norse Normandy and it smells so good!!!

Eliza G

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