4 x 10 Relief carved ceramic Lily tile.
Some of the oldest traditions of mankind revolve around the rites of spring, celebrating growth and the renewal of life. Ostara, celebrated around the spring equinox, 20th-22nd of March in the northern hemisphere and around the 23rd of September in the southern, is one of the eight major Wiccan holidays.
In Welsh mythology it is the time when the god of light, reborn on the winter Solstice is now strong enough to defeat his rival twin of darkness and mate with the great mother goddess who every year at Imbolc ( February 1st) returns to virginity. The indigenous Mayan people have celebrated a spring equinox festival for ten centuries. As the sun sets on the day of the equinox, the great ceremonial pyramid, El Castillo in Mexico, is bathed in late afternoon light. The lengthening shadows on the long staircase of the pyramid give the illusion of a diamond backed snake in decent. This is the return of the sun serpent to the land.
Most ancient rites of spring revolve around goddesses, many returned to virginity for the event and resurrection. The earth mother goddess Asasa Ya is honored by the Ashanti people along with the sky god Nyame at the spring festival of Durbar. Eostre is the ancient teutonic spring goddess who's name is the root of the present day spring celebration of Ostara. The Roman goddess of spring flowers Flora was honored at the festival of Floralia, April 28th - May 3. The Norse fertility goddess Freya returns every spring with her magical necklace representing the fire of the sun. Each spring in India the Hindu goddess of art, wisdom and learning , Saraswati is honored with prayers and music at the festival of Saraswati Puja.