Child of a New Day

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New York
My almanac indicates that Ostara is on the 20th this year. I have seen on the WEB most are celebrating it on the 21st. From what I have read it is around the 21st. So who can tell me which is it this year? Sorry if I sound like I am asking silly questions. :eek:
From the NOAA site:

Vernal Equinox Mar 20 2005 7:34 AM EST
Summer Solstice Jun 21 2005 2:46 AM EDT
Autumnal Equinox Sep 22 2005 6:23 PM EDT
Winter Solstice Dec 21 2005 1:35 PM EST

So it's bright and early on the 20th astronomically. Given that's a Sunday, I'm surprised folks are celebrating on the Monday...
Thanks, thats what I tought. :D Just wanted to make sure. I guess maybe they are celebrating it on the 21st because that is what they read.
Child of a New Day said:
Thanks, thats what I tought. :D Just wanted to make sure. I guess maybe they are celebrating it on the 21st because that is what they read.

I think it's more that some people feel the 21st is "traditional" even though it's not the exact astronomical moment for the spring equinox. When describing when the spring equinox is it's usually described as being generally on the 21st (but to be accurate it could be the day before or the day after depending on the year.)
Ok I see, you learn something new every day. :) This gets more and more complicated. But I like learning different sides of things.
How much does ostara have to do with the term for easter?
didymus said:
How much does ostara have to do with the term for easter?

There is an interesting article about the Pagan traditions, myths, etc. related to the spring equinox at http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/7280/ladyday.html Mike Nichols, who wrote that article, has ones for each of the eight Wiccan sabbats. The main page is at http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/7280/

He mentions in his essay on the spring equinox that the word Easter comes from the name of a Teutonic goddess named Eostre, who was celebrated at the spring equinox. Eostre is also the source of the word "estrogen" by the way. Ostara (also spelled Eostara) is the name for the spring celebration in honour of the goddess Eostre, although today Pagans honouring the Goddess at this celebration might call Her by any number of names.
Just a quick thought...some of those who follow the Celtic wheel of the year start celebrating on the eve of the previous day, because way back when, a day was considered to have begun at night fall, rather than at midnight/with the morning as it does now. Which might account for some of the variation of dates on modern celebrations...
The teutons called the moon "counter of time". Festivals where held at full moon or new moon. The year of Odinn was divided in eight months of one-and-a-half moon. At the end of the year, there was a period "between the years", which lasted a half moon. This created positive years and negative years. The positive years started with a full moon, the negative years started with a new moon.

So the year had twelve-and-a-half moon, which is longer than 365 days. Once in every nine years, all tribes send people to Uppsalir in Sweden. In this year, they took a part out of the last month. They also made sacrifices to the deities: nine men, nine dogs, nine wolves and nine horses were hung in a tree as a sacrifice.

The year starts with three-kings: Odinn, Freyr and Njordr. Then follows Car-naval, the car of the sea, which was devoted to Nerthus/Njord. Prince Car-naval was drowned as a gift to Jord. Ostara or easter followed next. It was devoted to Odinn. Then followed the Walpurgisnight. After that you had st john or Baldr's Balar with full or new moon after midsummer. Next there was the harvest-feast, then the slaughter-feast and finally Har-le-king or Halloween. Har is a nick-name for Odinn. In this feast the ulf-hedh-nar or werewolves dressed up like demons of the underworld to have a party. Between the years started with Sinterklaas (dutch), which is quite different from Santa Claus. Sinterklaas is Odinn, he rides on his horse over the clouds. Santa Claus is more like Ullr, who brings gifts from Upsalir.

To get back to the original question: In the year of Odinn, the moon decides when eastern or ostara begins. The moon is the counter of time.
Very interesting.

I feel compelled to point out though that if you do the math you'd see that there are in fact thirteen lunar cycles in a 365 day cycle. (We have thirteen full moons each solar year.) Twelve-and-a-half moon cycles is much less than 365 days.
You should do the math again.

There are 29.5306 days between two full moons. That makes 369.1325 days in a year, if you calculate 12.5 moons.

In 1 year, there are 365.242 days
In 9 years, there are 3287.178 days.
In 27 years, there are 9861.534 days

If you take 12.5 moons for a year, you have 112.5 moons or 3322.1925 days in a year.
If you take a moon out of the last month of the ninth year, you have 111.5 moons or 3292.6619 days
If you take 1.5 moon out of the 27th year, you have 334 moons in 27 years. This is 9863.2204 days. Not 100% accurate, but close.

In the solar-wagon (found at Trundholm, Danmark), there is a shield with four concentric circles. The three outer circles have 8, 16 and 27 circles. The inner circle with the second circle with the eight circles together form the year of nine periods: 8 months and the "time between the years". The outer circle with the 27 circles points to the 27-year period.

Once in every 9 years the tribes send representatives to Uppsala (Sweden) to negotiate the time for the next nine years. In this period, the "peace-of-Freyr" made sure, that there were no hostilities against any representative.

The numbers above are from the website of Andreas Firewolf. http://www.andreas333.com/nl/yggdrasil/boek/ygg1_h4.htm
Well you do have the math I guess.

Regardless of all that, Pagans of all sorts celebrate the Spring on a variety of dates. Some try to time things precisely according to solar positions (meaning the exact moment of the spring equinox) while others go by lunar phases closest to the equinox, or perhaps use a particular calendar date.

And some will just make do with whatever they can work out as most convenient close to the date they observe.