The vernal equinox (March 20) marks the first day of spring, a shifting of seasons, a time when daylight and darkness are of equal length. Nature is in balance.
Traditionally, the vernal equinox focuses on rebirth, and it was honored by ancient cultures in the festival of Ostara. With winter giving way to spring, Ostara celebrations centered around new life, fertility and the planting season.
For us in the northern hemisphere, we appreciate spring’s soft breezes, newly born wildlife and the melting snow giving way to damp, nutrient-rich earth. It is a season of wonder, new beginnings and a “spring fever” that energizes us from our dormancy.
Here are five ideas and family activities for honoring the essence of spring.
Clean out your family’s hair brushes (or the vacuum cleaner) and put the hair outside for the birds to build their nests with. Engage in some birdwatching and see how many you can identify. Connect with your local Audubon chapter to find a bird hike near you.
It’s so simple, yet utterly amazing to watch a tiny seed blossom into something green, lush and even edible. Let the kids choose their plants, and sow seeds indoors using unique, recycled containers.
Eggs are an ancient symbol of new life, and egg balancing is a popular thing to try on the equinox. Using egg shells to make your own beeswax candles is an inspired activity. Check out the tutorial from Homeschooling in the Rose Garden.
Make your own spring-inspired incense to fill the house with flowery smells after a good cleaning. For tips on de-cluttering, organizing and natural green cleaners, check out my Spring Cleaning blog series.
Honor the essence of rebirth by transforming a part of yourself. Is there a new hobby you always wanted to start? A new food to cook? A foreign language to learn? For little ones, it may be as simple as trying an unfamiliar food or making a new friend.
Get more inspired ideas like this for every holiday in my eBook, The Guilt-Free Guide to Greening Your Holidays.