March 20 – March 22 (March 20th this year!)
Called Alban Eilir in Welsh which means “The light of the earth”.
The spring equinox is a fertile time when the sun is steadily growing warmer and the first small signs of spring are visible. For a pastoral people and agriculturally driven lifestyle, this must have been a very exciting time. Animals begin to become more active and it’s mating season for many creatures, big and small. The hare, although normally only active at night, is now so frantic in an effort to mate that they are seen particularly often at this time and therefore associated with spring and the feminine Goddess. Both the egg and the seed, are very ancient and literal symbols of fertility and naturally associated with spring and the equinox. It’s not surprising that there were many ancient cross cultural festivals happening around this time celebrating the Goddess and in essence, the fertility of nature that is visible all around us. The Saxon celebration of Eostre or Ostara became overlapped with the Christian Easter, which is also a celebration of rebirth. Any number of Celtic goddesses representing fertility could have been celebrated at this time, including the revered Brigid of Imbolc or Norse Freda. Many ancient stone circles and monuments align with the spring equinox including Loughcrew, Duntreath, and Stonehenge.
Ways to Celebrate:
Set up your altar accordingly: Decorate your home or space with seasonal symbols and colors of nature. Common decorations are shamrocks, the hare, baby animals, insects, flowers and colors yellow, green and orange. Find unique items that have strong symbology for you.
Get planting: Plant a garden, flowers, trees or shrubs! Anything! Just get planting! Absorb yourself in the incredible regrowth and rebirth of the spring season. Become closer with nature by assisting in “new growth” and “rebirth” as much as you can. Give the seeds your blessing and essence.
Take time for yourself: You took the time during Imbolc to cleanse your house, body and mind and found a renewed sense of self. Use the Spring Equinox as a means to truly start anew and put those positive thoughts into action. Referring to men and women both here. Purchase and/or make something new to wear! Get a new wardrobe, style, hair cut, make over or simply spruce up your typical comfortable look. Get a pedicure or manicure. Feel and internalize being a new and healthier “you” going into this continued season of regrowth and rebirth.
Create a craft: Make something representative of the season! Make a dried flower art piece, mini fairy garden planter, wood burning craft or spring bouquet.
Connect with others: Prepare a Spring Equinox dinner. Listen to appropriate seasonal music. Light candles. Some common recipes are chicken or vegetable stew, spinach quiche, hot cross buns, custard pie and deviled eggs. Enjoy your family and friends. Cook something different you’ve never tried before or try a new wine! Go out to a restaurant you’e never been too. Call up and meet friends or family you haven’t seen in a while to encourage meaningful and new conversation. Attend a pagan social event. Mark this season with something unique to make it feel like more of a special occasion.
Write in your journal: The Spring Equinox is about growth and rebirth. What are some ways you can reinvigorate your life with creativity? Where is there room to grow as a person and what steps can you take to make this a reality?
Make an offering: Make a seasonal mandala with natural objects in a local park or in your own yard. If inclined, you could include bird seed, fruit, berries or nuts for local wildlife in your mandala.
Kindle a bonfire: Have a bonfire outside if possible, although indoors is fine as well if you have a fireplace.
Nature walk and meditation: Take a meditative walk through nature enjoying all the new signs of life! If so desired, collect natural objects to build crafts at home or add to your spring inspired altar.
Wishing you a rainbow, For sunlight after showers, Miles and miles of Irish smiles,For golden happy hours, Shamrocks at your doorway, For luck and laughter too, And a host of friends that never ends, Each day your whole life through! -Irish blessing
For more information check out The Magic of the Spring Equinox: Seasonal celebrations to honour nature’s ever-turning wheel by Danu Forest!