1st Day of Spring
Spring is in the air and we are ready to celebrate the first day of this beautiful season! The flowers will be blooming, the sun will shine (hopefully more often than not!) and we will start getting the Hotel ready for the busy seasons.
Here are some fun facts you may not know about the Vernal Equinox (AKA Spring Equinox):
Why does the Spring Equinox happen? The equinox occurs because of the tilt of the Earth in relation to the Sun. This is what causes the seasons. The Earth hits the turning point in its orbit where neither the North or the South poles are tilted towards the sun. As a result, the Sun spends a roughly equal amount of time above and below the horizon at every location on the Earth, so night and day are about the same length.
Many cultures celebrate spring festivals and holidays around the March equinox, like Easter and Passover. However, there are also a few more celebrations – some of which date back thousands of years:
There is an ancient Chinese belief that you can stand an egg on its end on the first day of spring. The theory goes that, due to the sun’s equidistant position between the poles of the earth at the time of the equinox, special gravitational forces apply. This is, of course, nonsense. But it does still make for a fun party game – and you can save your eggs to paint on Easter Day.
Holi is an ancient Hindu festival celebrating the victory of good over evil. It takes place each year around the time of the vernal equinox. Known as the “festival of colours”, it is celebrated by tossing vibrant coloured powders onto each other and dancing in the streets.
The symbolic plant of the equinox in Druidry is the trefoil or shamrock, which is also customarily worn on St. Patrick’s Day. The three leaves shaped like hearts were associated with the Triple Goddess of Celtic mythology, otherwise known as the “Three Morgans”.
The spring equinox is symbolic of rebirth, renewal, and growth, and in ancient Italy, it was traditional for women to plant seeds in the gardens of Adonis on this day. The custom persists in Sicily, where women plant seeds of grains – lentils, fennel, lettuce or flowers – in baskets and pots.
Many of the world’s ancient monuments were built as astrological calendars, to map the movement of the Sun over the course of the year. The equinox is therefore a great time to visit these monuments, as they are often aligned to make the most of the Sun’s unique position in the sky. At Stonehenge in Wiltshire, the sun can be seen rising precisely between two stones, while at Chichén Itzá in Mexico, the rising sun transforms one edge of the giant pyramid into a blazing serpent, representing the Mayan god Kukulcan.