This year, spring began on 20 March 2021 at 10.37 am (CET). The days are getting longer again since the winter solstice in December and with the equinox on 20 March we welcome spring.
How does this affect humans and animals?
The light becomes increasingly stronger from this day onwards and the sun’s rays release natural vitamin D. Serotonin is increasingly released and thus ensures a better general well-being. The light has a positive effect on body, mind and soul, and activates the self-healing powers.
However, many people have difficulties with the change to spring and „spring fatigue“ may be caused: dizziness, circulatory problems, tiredness, headaches and aching limbs are some of the consequences. Fortunately, they usually disappear after a few days.
Spring is the time of awakening, blossoming and colours!
The animals begin their mating, breeding and courtship season. The plants of spring delight us with their bright colours and show their first buds and blossoms after the snow of winter. Snowdrops, crocus, primrose, jack-in-the-pulpit, but also the trees’ buds come out and welcome spring.
The beginning of spring symbolizes new life, new beginnings, and the rebirth of nature. Many rituals accompany the start of spring. Here are some traditions celebrated by communities in different corners of the world.
There are many magical places in Mexico to celebrate the spring equinox. One of the most famous is Teotihuacan (“the city of the gods”), the most visited archaeological site in Mexico. The original inhabitants erected marker stones on nearby hillsides to mark the position of the rising sun at the spring equinox as viewed from the Pyramid of the Sun. Many of the visitors dress in white and climb to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun, in order to receive the special energy of the equinox.
Every year, Hindus celebrate Holi, the spiritual festival of colours. In preparation for this day, bonfires are lit the night before and on the day itself people celebrate by dancing and throwing colours at each other. This festivity represents the triumph of good over evil, as well as the end of winter and the begin of the harvest season, it is sometimes called “the festival of love,”
Buddhists in Japan participate in a week-long celebration called Higan, which literally translated means „to arrive on the other shore.“ People use this time for meditation and self-reflection. The „other shore“ refers to Nirvana, the end goal of Buddhist practices where total enlightenment is achieved and the cycle of reincarnation ends. During Higan, the Japanese reflect on their paths toward Nirvana and also use the week to honor their ancestors, especially the ones who have passed recently.
One of England’s first day of spring celebrations takes place at Stonehenge. People gather right before dawn on March 20 in order to watch the sunrise. This Celtic celebration, called Ostara, is accompanied by playing ancient instruments as well as drinking burdock and dandelions, which is said to cleanse the blood.
Bosnia celebrates the first day of spring with a festival called Cimburijada, or „festival of the scrambled eggs.“ The celebration takes place in the town of Zenica and begins right at dawn near the Bosna river. During Cimburijada, the people gather and share a large meal of scrambled eggs while having drinks and listening to music together. The first day of spring is celebrated between family, visitors, and friends.
Australia celebrates the first day of spring with an enormous floral festival called Floriade, which means „to design with flowers“. The celebration spans over 30 days, using spectacular displays of flowers to celebrate the first day of spring. The heart of the celebration takes place in Canberra and is surrounded by nighttime festivals, shows, and displays. You can even take a trip in a hot air balloon to witness all the beauty the celebration has to offer.
Emily Dickinson (USA, 1830 – 1886) expresses the delight of the upcoming season in the beginning of one of her spring poems:
A Light exists in Spring
Not present on the Year
At any other period —
When March is scarcely here
Enjoy spring – despite the pandemic – or especially in these times!
Foto: © Thaut Images – 192079320 – stock.adobe.com