This article discusses the spring equinox and its traditions.
Twice a year an equinox happens. This is when the suns center and earths equator overlap. Another name is “equal day and night”, although that´s not entirely true. The equinoxes have been observed by many different cultures (Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Wicca, etc) and in many different ages. The word “equinox” comes from the Latin words for “equal” and “night”: aequus and nox. Related to an equinox is the “solstice”, wich happens when the sun is in its outermost northern or southern position. Actually the equinoxes themselves are not whole days but a specific time on the day of the equinox. For example: This year´s spring equinox was on 20th of march at 23:21 UTC.
In Wicca spring equinox is called “Ostara”, wich is related to the Anglo-Saxon word “Éostre”. Éostre later turned in today’s word “Easter”. Ostara celebrates the reawakening of nature, spring and birth. Another name is “Lady Day”.
In Egypt the spring equinox was a festival of Isis and held when the Nile began to rise, because she was mourning for her lover “Osiris”.
Passover is Judaisms version of spring celebrations, in memory of the exodus. The celebrations take place over the period of eight days, during which prayers are said and a special meal is held.
Spring equinox is called “Shubun Sai” in Japan. It´s a time of bringing fresh flowers to the graves. The day is a national holiday.
One of the spring equinox traditions in China is to try and make eggs stand.
No matter how you are going to celebrate spring equinox, it´s finally time to welcome the first few beams of the sun, put the winter clothes away and leave the past year behind.