Today officially marks the first day of Spring! Every year on the 20th or 21st March the northern hemisphere welcomes the spring – or vernal – equinox. This is the day when the length of the daytime and the length of the nighttime are pretty much equal (making it the opposite of a solstice). The other annual equinox occurs in September, welcoming the start of Autumn.
As humans we have been celebrating this day for thousands of years and it’s no coincidence that many cultural and religious holidays take place around this time of year too. Of course there is Easter (eggs, chickens, chocolate, bunnies – my favourite holiday of them all!), then there is Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, and Ohigan, a buddhist holiday celebrated in Japan. In Mexico, at the exact moment of the equinox, it looks like an enormous snake of sunlight slithers down the stairs of the El Castillo pyramid! But what about the myths too? Supposedly on the day of the vernal equinox you can stand an egg straight up… I am going to give this just two more attempts before giving up for good.
To me the beauty of Spring means longer evenings and the start of warmer weather, although let’s not hold our breath, Britain has seen snow in April before! But it’s a nice thought that today, people all around the world are celebrating Spring- the season of renewal, rebirth and growth.
Whilst on the topic of date and time, this year the clocks go forward an hour on Sunday 30th March, which also happens to be Mother’s Day. Two things that could definitely land you in a bit of a pickle if you forget!