Happy Easter…. Good Friday April 18 2014: Easter Sunday April 20 2014

SGC Admin: Easter is a Christian celebration and observation.

Jesus Christ was crucified on Good Friday and rose from the dead on Easter Sunday

Many people enjoy this celebration regardless of religious denomination as Easter is also a sign of spring.

Good Friday may be a statutory holiday in some countries, where business’s, banks, post office, and most stores are closed. 

Easter symbols set. Contains transparent objects.  Stock Photo - 17321970
graphics:www.123rf.com: Illustrator: Maryana Teslenko

Our thanks to Wikipedia for the following information on this widely observed holiday. 

Easter[nb 1][nb 2] (also called the Pasch[1][2] or Pascha[nb 3][3]) is a Christian festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion at Calvary as described in the New Testament.[4][5] Easter is the culmination of the Passion of Christ, preceded by Lent, a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance. The last week of Lent is called Holy Week, and it contains the days of the Easter Triduum, including Maundy Thursday (also known as Holy Thursday), commemorating the Last Supper and its preceding foot washing,[6][7] as well as Good Friday, commemorating thecrucifixion and death of Jesus.[8] Easter is followed by a fifty-day period called Eastertideor the Easter Season, ending with Pentecost Sunday.

Easter is a moveable feast, meaning it is not fixed in relation to the civil calendar. The First Council of Nicaea (325) established the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the full moon (the Paschal Full Moon) following the March equinox.[9] 

Ecclesiastically, the equinox is reckoned to be on 21 March (even though the equinox occurs, astronomically speaking, on 20 March in most years), and the “Full Moon” is not necessarily the astronomically correct date. The date of Easter therefore varies between 22 March and 25 April. 

Eastern Christianity bases its calculations on the Julian calendar whose 21 March corresponds, during the 21st century, to 3 April in the Gregorian calendar, in which the celebration of Easter therefore varies between 4 April and 8 May.

Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism, as well as by its position in the calendar. In many languages, the words for “Easter” and “Passover” are etymologically related or homonymous.[10]

Easter customs vary across the Christian world, but attending sunrise services, exclaiming the Paschal greetingclipping the church and decorating Easter eggs, a symbol of the empty tomb, are common motifs.[11][12][13]

Additional customs include egg hunting, the Easter Bunny, and Easter parades, which are observed by both Christians and some non-Christians

Source: Wikipedia

SGC Admin: Just wanted to add something new I found out regarding Easter Eggs, thanks to Tammy of Magical Dreams. It’s a legend/myth involving the Goddess Ostara (Eostre)

Ostara Image
Graphic: http://www.butterfunk.com/image-21/ostara.htm: Illustartor: Paulina Stuckey-Cassidy

A very long time ago Goddess Ostara/Eostre found an injured bird and wanted to heal it and the story goes in order to do so, the Goddess had to change the near-death bird into a Hare  … However, the Hare although healthy in all ways had once distinct difference from all the other Hares…  instead of having babies this special Hair laid beautiful colourful Eggs…. And since that time we celebrate Easter with bunnies and eggs… 🙂 

source: 1) Tammy: 2) Ostara Lore

The Sun Enters Aries March 20 2014: Also… First day of spring and Ostara

Aries: Masculine: Fire: Cardinal:

Illustration of Aries zodiac sign in cute cartoon style as a girl holding a sheep and dressed like shepherd Stock Vector - 13035298
http://www.123rf.com: Illustration Yulia Sokolova

You Aries folk are what get us all going… ready to explore and move mountains… well for a little while at least… Even though you guys and gals are full of vim and vigour you aren’t really the kind to stick around to the see the completion of your pioneering projects thanks to your lack of patience… You can get bored easily and the next interesting thing/person that comes along can perk up your ears encouraging you to find out more….. You are fun to be around and many may wish they were more like you, but you can have your awkward moments when you forget about the feelings of others as Aries puts your own needs first…. Having a partner that understands this is important, but you need to slow down enough so that he/she can explain to you when you have done “wrong” …  You are the beginning of the Zodiac and as such you are like the child who needs a constant gentle reminder to slow down… :)

Birthday Day Card, Vector Illustration Stock Vector - 9068347
http://www.123rf.com: Illustrator adamson

Happy Birthday to: T.J. Maureen, Dennis, Dean, Leah, Steven and all who celebrate an Aries Birthday… Have a fabulous day guys and an awesome year ahead… 🙂 

Today is also International Astrology Day….. Have a blast Astrologers and all those who love the art…. 🙂 

circle of the zodiac  Stock Vector - 11650946
http://www.123rf.com: Illustrator Pavlo Kovernik

Today is also the Spring Equinox or the FIRST DAY OF SPRING… Yippee… finally we can look forward towards warmer temperatures and hopefully wonderful sunshine… be prepared though, as traditionally… March winds, brings April showers which brings May flowers… but those March winds can surely blow…. hold on to your hats… 

spring flowers in the grass against the sky Stock Photo - 9178303
http://www.123rf.com: Illustrator : Vladimir Voronin

And…. March 20/21 is traditionally known as Ostara in the Pagan and Wiccan belief systems… In my reference book it shows Ostara as being today, (March 20 2014) but I am not absolutely sure as on-line it is stated as March 21 2014… Any confirmation on this years date would be greatly appreciated…. 🙂

Ostara, or Wiccan Spring Equinox Sabbath egg Stock Vector - 18248660
http://www.123rf.com: Illustrator : Belyaev Viacheslav

Please view the following information on Ostara from About.comPaganism / Wicca

The word Ostara is just one of the names applied to the celebration of the spring equinox on March 21. The Venerable Bede said the origin of the word is actually from Eostre, a Germanic goddess of spring. Of course, it’s also the same time as the Christian Easter (Unless Easter falls in April as it does this yearcelebration, and in the Jewish faith, Passover (This year begins at sundown April 14 2014 takes place as well. For early Pagans in the Germanic countries, this was a time to celebrate planting and the new crop season. Typically, the Celtic peoples did not celebrate  Ostara as a holiday, although they were in tune with the changing of the seasons.

A New Day Begins:

A dynasty of Persian kings known as the Achaemenians celebrated the spring equinox with the festival of No Ruz — which means “new day.” It is a celebration of hope and renewal still observed today in many Persian countries, and has its roots in Zoroastrianism. In Iran, a festival called Chahar-Shanbeh Suri takes place right before No Ruz begins, and people purify their homes and leap over fires to welcome the 13-day celebration of No Ruz.

Mad as a March Hare:

Spring equinox is a time for fertility and sowing seeds, and so nature’s fertility goes a little crazy. In medieval societies in Europe, the March hare was viewed as a major fertility symbol — this is a species of rabbit that is nocturnal most of the year, but in March when mating season begins, there are bunnies everywhere all day long. The female of the species is super-fecund and can conceive a second litter while still pregnant with a first. As if that wasn’t enough, the males tend to get frustrated when rebuffed by their mates, and bounce around erratically when discouraged. (Perhaps this is where the symbol of the bunny comes from in our Easter celebrations… ) 🙂