The spring equinox is an annually recurring astronomical event with which a number of interesting natural phenomena are associated. Literally translated from the Latin word, the equinox means "equal night" since day and night have the same length. Since the Sun is above the equator, day and night are approximately equal in length throughout the world at the time of the equinox. The spring equinox falls on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, at 5:58 P.M. EDT.
The day of the vernal equinox is a ritual day for many nations and religions of the world, which has been celebrated since ancient times. This is the day when nature awakens from winter sleep, the day of the balance of light and darkness, after which the light takes over. Warm days are coming, trees are blossoming, flowers are blooming, birds are singing spring songs, everyone feels a surge of strength, a desire to love, create and live. Slavic, Germanic and Celtic holidays are associated with this day. It is also probably not by chance that the Egyptians built the Sphinx so that it points directly to the rising sun on this holiday.
There are many rituals and traditions connected with the spring equinox. Usually, at this time, in the pagan culture, people were burning the man of straw that symbolized winter. For the Druids, the vernal equinox meant the resumption of life on Earth. For the Germanic tribes and the Celts, this day was associated with the arrival of spring and was marked by the beginning of the agricultural season. To meet spring, the housewives dyed eggs and baked wheat buns. These customs were followed in order to please Ostara, the goddess of spring.
The oldest witnesses of the veneration of the vernal equinox were the monuments of the megalithic culture of ancient civilizations. The main axis of Stonehenge is directed to the point of sunrise on the day of the vernal equinox. In the capital of the Mayan Empire, the sunny Serpent Quetzalcoatl was slipping from the most famous pyramid on this day.
The Slavs baked figures of birds from dough on this holiday. They threw them up in the sky and then caught them. It was believed that such actions might attract health, happiness, and prosperity into one’s life. Having spent the Winter, they glorified the god of the spring sun and fertility - Yarylo. He personified the bright spring light and warmth, youthfulness, passion and fertility. They burned fires, bathed in meltwater, erected the fire wheel on a high pole, around which they danced, glorifying the victory of the spring Sun.
Nowadays, a number of nations celebrate the beginning of the year on the day of the spring equinox. In the countries of the Middle East, Central Asia, Azerbaijan, Iran, some regions of Turkey, the Novruz holiday, which used to open the year, and literally means "new day", is celebrated.
In Japan, locals are trying to remove all the inessential from their lives. Therefore, they are trying to bring order to their home and throw away everything that, in their opinion, they no longer need. They start cleaning up a few days before the holiday begins. Also, residents of the Japanese islands honor their dead relatives and close people on this day. They always go to their cemeteries to show their respect for the departed and to pray near their graves.
In Mexico, local people worship the pyramids built in pre-Columbian times by the Maya Indians. These ancient structures are called the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon. Mexicans arrange solemn processions near them and praise the Lord God for the fact that spring has come.
People of India also arrange processions on this festive day. At the same time, when they go in lines, they try to sprinkle each other with different spices and herbs. With the onset of darkness, they make huge bonfires and begin to dance near the flame, singing various ritual songs.
Such different traditions at the same time have much in common. Nature is awakening, mother Earth begins to gain its power and strength, after the winter sleep. In terms of energy vibration, this is one of the most powerful days of the year.
On the day of the spring equinox, the Light embodied in the Sun has a special power of awakening every living being. This is how the world works - we are all participants in this process since each of us is an integral part of the Earth and the Universe.
Meet this day in the field, in the forest, on the top of the mountain or even in the park. Breath to the fullest, enjoy the sunrays, feel the Earth power going through your veins. Spring is here!
“The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope.” Wendell Berry
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