March 19, 2013
first day of spring is also known as the Vernal Equinox. Alban Eiler, which
means, "Light of the Earth," is one of the two days that night and day stand
equal. The equinoxes and solstices were holy times of transition for the ancient
Celts, a celebration of the miraculous balance of nature and life cycles of
The Spring Equinox is the mid-point of the waxing year. The spark of light that
was born at the Winter Solstice has reached maturity. Today the light and dark
are equal; from this day forward, the days grow longer than the nights. We have
survived another Winter and are once more surrounded by the delights of Spring.
It is a time for celebrating the greening of the Earth, and crops are typically
sown at this time.
This is the time of full Dawn, and was the time of the festivals of the Grecian
goddess, Eostre, and the Germanic Ostara, both goddesses of Dawn. Some believe
that this is where we get the word "Easter". Since the Spring Equinox is a time
to celebrate fertility, and many cultures see eggs as a symbol of Life or the
home of the soul, decorated eggs have been part of spring celebrations for
The Vernal Equinox was celebrated long before the Celts, by the Megalithic
people who lived in Britain before the Celts, the Romans and the Saxons. Ancient
Greeks, Ancient Romans, Ancient Mayans all celebrated the equinox, as did Native
Americans. Ancient Persians called it NawRaz, their New Year's Day.
A cluster of megalithic cairns from ancient times are scattered through the
hills at Loughcrew, about 55 miles northwest of Dublin, Ireland. Loughcrew Cairn
T is a passage tomb which is designed so that the light from the rising sun on
the spring and summer equinoxes penetrates a long corridor and illuminates a
backstone, which is decorated with astronomical symbols.
This year’s vernal equinox occurs on Wednesday, at exactly 11:02 Coordinated
Universal Time (UTC), or 7:02 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, ushering in spring in
the Northern Hemisphere and autumn for the Southern. The time of the equinox
marks when the center of the sun shines down right on the equator.
After the equinox, the sun's observed path through the sky will appear to creep
north of the equator as the Earth orbits the sun. Thanks to our planet's tilted
axis, the Northern Hemisphere will be increasingly inclined toward the sun in
the coming months, easing us into the warmer seasons.