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First Day of Spring – Celebrate Spring Equinox

Ah, spring! This season brings more sunshine, warming temperatures, and the rebirth of flowers everywhere.

Warsaw Equinox Festival PhotoThe first day of spring is also the Vernal equinox. The word equinox is derived from the Latin words meaning “equal night.” Days and nights are both approximately 12 hours long, with daytime increasing afterwards. Spring is heralded by the blooming of deciduous magnolias, quince, tulips and daffodils. Life everyone seems to ‘spring forth’.

The celebration of spring takes place in all corners of the world — from India’s Holi color festival, to the hot air balloon festival at the Pyramid of the Sun in Mexico, people everywhere celebrate this ancient solar holiday.

What do many of these celebrations have in common?

  • Spring Flowers – Flowers have been an steady constant in spring celebrations throughout time for people all across the globe. From the symbolic Easter lily that represents a person’s faith in western cultures, to gifts, offerings and blessings of flowers to gods and ancestors in many eastern cultures — flowers are an essential part of most spring celebrations.
  • Spring Cleaning – We do it every year to prepare for summer fun, and you know how great it makes you feel to clear out the junk that seems to pile up during the cold months. In many cultures, the spring clean is a crucial part of practicing their faith.

How can you celebrate spring?

  • Decorate your home – Use spring colors and lots of fresh flowers. Replace anything using dark, winter colors with a fresh new breath of spring.
  • Celebrate family heritage – Take some time to research how your ancestors might have celebrated the solar holiday. For instance, if you come from an ancient Celt background, you might light a bonfire to observe the ancient Gaelic spring festival of Imbolc, in honor your past.
  • Family reunion – That’s what they do in Japan for the vernal equinox, in addition to visiting family graves.
  • A day for Mom – Honor mom with springtime gifts, including flowers and plants. In many Arab countries, the period of the equinox is set aside to honor mothers. Yes, we have Mother’s Day for that, but why wait when you can double her joy?
  • Sunrise celebration – Throughout time, cultures all across the globe have celebrated during sunrise on the morning of the vernal equinox. Why not wake up a little early just to watch the sun rise, especially if the weather is warm enough?

There’s no right or wrong way to celebrate the beginning of spring. Find your own way to welcome the new and highly anticipated season. If you have any suggestions, please add them in the comments below!

Photo via National Geographic

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