Google – the font of all knowledge, let’s be honest – have today announced the first day of Spring with a rather lovely little flower-based doodle. This meant some discussion in the office because a number of us thought it was tomorrow. But, Google and Wikipedia do confirm that the exact date of the Spring Equinox does vary, due to the drifting of calendars and so on, and can be anywhere between the 20th and the 25th of March. So that’s okay.
There are many cultural events and customs across the world associated with the March, or Vernal, Equinox ( here’s the language bit – from the Latin: vernal meaning of or pertaining to spring and equinox meaning equal night). Easter, of course, is coming along soon – according to the Bible, Jesus’ death and resurrection occurred around the time of the Jewish Passover, which was celebrated on the first full moon following the vernal equinox.
In Japan, both the March and September equinoxes are celebrated with a week of Buddhist services – know as Higan or Higan-e. Meaning the other shore, Higan refers to dead spirits who reach Nirvana after crossing the river of existence and celebrates the spiritual move from suffering to enlightenment.
Other celebrations include the Iranian New Year, Tunisian National Day and Earth Day (in some countries – but if you miss it, you can catch it again somewhere else on 22nd April).
So, here’s to Spring! And thanks to timeanddate.com for some great Equinox facts. Ooh, and this just in – it’s also the International Day of Happiness apparently! How lovely.