A celebration of light. That’s my short version of what the March equinox is. As day and night are equal on March 20th and the sun sits directly above the equator, we truly begin our descent into spring and light begins to tip the scale towards becoming the dominant part of our days.
The long version, of course, would describe how the March equinox marks the time when the Northern Hemisphere of earth tilts towards the sun, allowing for longer, sunnier days and shorter periods of dark for some parts of the world, and the opposite for the rest. Sometimes referred to as the Vernal Equinox (vernal meaning fresh or new like spring), the equinox is marked by large and small scale celebrations depending on culture.
Light is so impactful to our health both mentally and physically that we absolutely should be celebrating it!
- Easter eggs, also known as Paschal eggs, are symbolic for fertility and rebirth which directly aligns with the March equinox theme of new beginnings. Try hiding some Easter eggs in the traditional Easter egg hunt, or egg dancing, where eggs are laid down on the floor and participants dance around while not trying to damage them.
- Balancing eggs on the day of the March equinox is supposed to bring good luck a prosperity according to ancient Chinese tradition. There’s a myth that claims that eggs can only be balanced on their end during the March equinox. Give it a try!
- No-Ruz, the Iranian New Year, occurs during the March equinox. For 3000 years No-Ruz has been observed, with traditional activities including buying new clothes for family members and thoroughly cleaning homes (spring cleaning, anyone?). Wheat or lentil are grown on flat dishes just days before the New Year as a representation of new growth.
- In Japan, Higan is a week of Buddhist services during both the March and September equinox. Higan means “other shore”. This is a celebration of the move made by spirits from the world of suffering to the world of enlightenment.
- Lastly, March 20th (the original Earth Day) is a day for people from all different cultures to come together to promote clean and sustainable living. Some activities include planting trees, picking up trash, or starting up recycling programs at work.