Celebrating the Spring Equinox
The focus of the celebration is on hopefulness and excitement for the season of growth and renewal
The Spring (Vernal) Equinox occurs at the time when the natural world around us seems to be coming back to life. It is the time to be preparing our gardens for planting and to be opening our lives to new possibilities.
Here are ways that you can celebrate the Equinox:
1.Take the time, if possible, to find out and pause to notice the actual moment of the Vernal Equinox when the sun has crossed the celestial equator from south to north, ushering in the season of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. This year, the Spring Equinox occurs at 11:50 pm on March 19th (the earliest first day of Spring in 124 years!)
2. Focus on the idea that our days and nights are of equal length (sometimes, this occurs in the days before or just after the equinox). Going forward, in the Northern Hemisphere (for us in the United States), our days will now begin to be longer than our nights, bringing us slowly to the longest day, on our Summer Solstice in June.
3. Families can have a special dinner or party that showcases the foods of the season (in your particular region). In the Northeast United States, the dinner could include some early spring vegetables such as asparagus. We have also included root vegetables that have been stored (by us or by food purveyors) over winter, such as potatoes, yams, turnips, and parsnips. In late-March, we will also have collards and kale that have over-wintered in the garden. Our Spring Equinox dinner will have these vegetables served sometimes in a venison stew, made with venison harvested the past fall and frozen and Irish boxty potato pancakes (small pancakes) that we fill with sauteed vegetables (here is a boxty https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/irish-potato-boxty)
4. At the special dinner, you can engage in fun activities:
*Share things that you are looking forward to or for which you are hopeful. Allow each person to share at least one or two specific things.This can also be done in the form of a game, where people write down some things (anonymously) that they are hopeful for or working toward. These are then passed around and someone else writes down ideas for how those goals might be able to be realized.
*Share memories of special challenges that you have overcome through the winter just passed.
*Discuss new fun things to do in the warmer, longer days ahead.
5. A fun activity is to plant seeds in small containers to be brought home and grown on a window sill. You can buy small garden containers and seed packets at a local store even the local grocery store might have them or online) and a bag of garden soil
(also available at the grocery store, in the floral section).
6. A particularly appropriate story to share is the story of Persephone, from Greek myth. Here is a link to a version of the story that is written to appeal to a younger audience.