Astronomical spring or the spring equinox

On March 20th (2019) many people congratulated each other with beginning of Spring. Also, we can call it Astronomical spring or vernal equinox.

            The spring and autumn equinoxes are considered to be the astronomical beginning of the seasons of the same name.

            The spring equinox is an astronomical phenomenon in which the center of the Sun, in its visible motion along the Ecliptic, crosses the celestial equator. The vernal equinox begins between March 19 and 21, at different points of the planet at different times. The time of the equinox is related both to the geographical location of the countries and to the duration of calendar years.

Astronomical spring in 2019 came in the Tomsk region (Russia) on March 21 at 05.05 local time. In Boston (USA) it came on March 20 at 5:58 pm.  At this time, the center of the Sun crosses the celestial equator and moves from the southern hemisphere of the Earth to the North. Thus, the Sun illuminates exactly half of the planet, and day and night are divided almost exactly 12 hours.

In the Northern hemisphere, the spring equinox occurs on March 20, when the Sun passes from the southern hemisphere to the Northern, and the autumn equinox occurs on September 22 or 23, when the Sun passes from the Northern hemisphere to the southern. In the southern hemisphere — on the contrary, the March equinox is considered autumn, and September — spring. In other words, on March Equinox it is spring time in the UK, the USA, Canada, Russia, India, China. While it is autumn time in Australia, Chile, New Zealand and South Africa.

How different Nations celebrated this day

In India, the day of the vernal equinox coincided with the festival of colors. Representatives of all castes gathered in the city squares, where they sang, danced, and sprinkled each other with colored powders made of local spices.

The ancient Germans were forbidden to eat meat on this day. Thus before the beginning of spring the people were purified.

The Japanese honored the dead. They put photos of ancestors in a prominent place and prepared funeral dinners.

Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan — almost all countries of the great silk road associate the beginning of the new year with this phenomenon of nature. People ask each other for forgiveness, return debts and arrange magnificent festivities with national food.

In Mexico, on the day of the vernal equinox, celebrating gather in the former capital of the Maya civilization – Chichen Itza. There are arranged theatrical performances and enjoying of the young spring sun take place.

Mystical meaning for Russian ancestors.

 People thought, that and the whole world and nature try to find balance between light and darkness. The Slavs in the period of the spring equinox celebrated the feast of the magpies. Russians believed that 40 species of birds fly to the equinox, and the first-larks. They were considered a symbol of the holiday. People baked figures of birds of dough and treated their guests. Our ancestors tossed up these lean buns and then caught them. It was believed, that so they attract health, happiness, prosperity. There is the proverb “to bake larks – to catch health”. At night this day people didn’t slept, hoping to hear the ice cracking.

What you can and cannot do

 In the day of the vernal equinox you don’t want to sort things out or start a conflict. It will lead to the destruction of relationships.

 It is best to spend the day with your family or with your loved one. This day is to honor our ancestors, to have fun, to visit, to give loved ones treats. Be sure to do the cleaning of the house, remove debris and get rid of unnecessary things. Our ancestors believed that the wish made on this day, will certainly come true.

  •  If the weather is frosty, you will take the other 40 frost days until the Spring begins.
  • If the weather is warm – the next 40 days will be warm.
  • To see a flock of flying birds meant to get a good grain harvest.
  • On this day if the clouds float across the sky quickly and high the weather will be good.
  • Also believed, that if there is a Blizzard, and the snow will fall on the fields in waves, you can expect a good harvest of bread and vegetables.

Do you know traditions and/or omens of the vernal equinox in your region? I will be happy to know.

Author: Elena

Hi, My name is Elena. I am Russian living in the US. My blog is about my life and experience. This is my new hobby. So, please, don't be too hard on me. Thanks

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