Spring Equinox

The Spring Equinox

March 20, 2014

Today is the Spring or Vernal Equinox,  when the equator passes the centre of the Sun. At this time the tilt of the Earth’s axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun. If you were standing on the equator during either the spring equinox, you would see the sun pass directly overhead, the only two times in the year when that is true the other is the Autumnal Equinox.The sun rises and sets at exactly due east and sets due west as well.Or in other words the length of the day and night are equal well almost – something to do with the light from the sun being bent by the horizon but its pretty close!

So the Spring Equinox signifies the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere.

Spring Equinox is one of the four main solar festivals. A time for rebirth and fertility, it has been celebrated in many ways throughout history. (Christian festival of Easter to the Persian New Year, Nowruz. )The Spring equinox is the perfect opportunity to stop and connect with the nature, and a lovely time to celebrate life and all the joy it brings. Pagans and Wiccans celebrate the new dawn, youth, the morning star and the east and the goddess, Eostre who is a dawn goddess. The Spring equinox is the new beginnings for life as dawn is a new beginning for the day.

If you want to celebrate the Spring Equinox it’s time to get out in nature and revel in its new energy as the buds open and the greenery returns.

There is a myth that at the Spring equinox, can you stand a raw egg on its end but only on this day due to the earth’s gravitational pull, actually you can do it any day if you try hard enough. Eggs are one of the symbols of this festival since they represent new life and potential. In Budapest eggs were dyed red (the colour of life) and in the Ukraine eggs (pysanky) are covered with magical symbols for protection, fertility, wisdom, strength and other qualities. So if you want to celebrate anyone of the festivals around the Spring Equinox painting eggs in any way you like is a great way to bring that feeling of rebirth home

Seeds symbolize the rebirth of a new plant in spring. In Sicily women grain seeds in baskets and pots. When they sprout, the stalks are tied with ribbons and these are put on graves of loved one to symbolize the fight between life and death. Inviting the whole family in planting seeds and nurturing nature also is a great way to celebrate this fabulous time of year.

Of course this rebirth means there  are new foods available and feasting is a great celebration with new herb and spices  being available, dishes with eggs, fresh meats etc and of course the hot cross buns.

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