This month is the season of one of the four big solar occasions of the year, the Vernal Equinox. The year has two equinoxes, the points in the earth’s orbit around the sun where the length of day and night are equal. The word itself, “equinox” comes from the Latin words for “equal night”.
The two annual equinoxes are the Vernal Equinox in March and the Autumn Equinox in September. These points of equilibrium are complimented by the two most extreme points of Earth’s orbit, the Summer and Winter Solstices which mark the longest and shortest days of the year.
Traditionally, the Vernal Equinox (also called the Spring Equinox) is a time surrounded by Spring festivals honoring rebirth, growth, family, nature and fertility. Celebrations following on or around the Vernal Equinox make it a great time to catch the spirit and do some Spring celebrating of your own!
Balance an Egg
Folk wisdom has it that the two Equinoxes of the year are the only two days where you can balance an egg on its lower tip. While this isn’t true, eggs do play a big part in cross-cultural Springtime celebrations, making an egg balancing session a great way to pay tribute to the Spring Equinox.
Even if you don’t have the patience for balancing an egg on its end, the Equinox is a great time to decorate an egg. Traditional for Easter celebrations, decorating eggs is part of many folk traditions. The Equinox marks Easter’s approach – a holiday that is determined by the Sun and the Moon. Each year the date of Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox.
Visit an Ancient Site of Solar Celebration
Some of the great wonders of the world were built with the Sun’s cycle taken into consideration. If you’ve been bit by the travel bug this Spring, why not visit a place with a spectacular Equinox?
For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, schedule a trip to Chichén Itzá in Mexico where the Mayan El Castillo pyramid rises from the Earth in alignment with the solar cycle. Twice a year, on the Equinoxes, a phenomenon called the Sun Serpent occurs at the pyramid. Sunlight on the Equinox catches the ridged edge of the pyramid and creates a serpent’s winding shadow on a staircase starting at the upper tip and leading to a giant sculptural snake head on the ground.
Stonehenge, in rural England is also an amazing site to visit on the Spring Equinox. The ancient stone ring celebrates the Equinox season with tours and celebrations of the druidic heritage that built the site.
Make a Sundial
The Equinox is the ideal time to make a simple sundial with the daylight hours at their greatest equilibrium. Get ready to wake up with the Sun to make the most of your solar clock. Place a stick or thin rod firmly in the earth in a location where is will receive light from sunrise until sunset. In a sundial, this rod is called a “gnomon”.
Monitor the time throughout the day – or set an hourly alarm. On each hour, mark the position of tip of your gnomon’s shadow with a stone or other small marker. Over the course of the day, your stones will create an arc that shows the hourly travel of the sun. If you leave your sundial up throughout the year, the hourly markings will change slightly, but making your initial measurements on the Equinox creates the most balan
The Spring Equinox is also Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, celebrated by many people and religious groups across the globe. Nowruz celebrations include delectable Persian food, singing and a traditional set table called a “Haft-Seen” that includes symbolic food and objects to ring in the New Year.
The Vernal Equinox also marks Shunbun no hi in Japan, a traditional week of homecoming where people gather with their families, visiting their towns of origin and paying respect to departed relatives.
World Storytelling Day also falls on the Spring Equinox. It’s the perfect day to gather with friends or family for a feast of fresh spring foods, or set up a bonfire or fire pit and share stories.
One great way to appreciate the sun all year long is to install energy-saving CC Sunscreens on your home. Our custom designs for your windows and doors help you maintain your home’s temperature and comfort all year round. If you plan on celebrating the Equinox on your patio, check out our patio screens too. Spring is a great time to plan ahead and take a look at your sunscreen options before Summer hits!