Winter has its own kind of beauty but as the end of it draws near most of us find ourselves dreaming of Spring. Colorful flowers, green grass and trees and soft warm breezes sound like heaven after winter’s gray cold. The earth itself has a Spring routine as well. It’s that seasonal rebirth that people have celebrated for thousands of years. But what exactly is Spring?
Despite what the weather might be at the time, we tell ourselves here in the Northern Hemisphere that Spring has come on the day of the Vernal Equinox. Unlike the solstices, on which the days and nights lengthen or shorten, the equinoxes are the two times a year when there is equal daylight and dark. Both mark the start of a change in season.
It isn’t only the modern world which fixes these days as the coming of a new season. All over the globe there are ancient sites that have been shown to have been built to reveal both the solstices and the equinoxes. Places such as Chichen Itza in Mexico and the Sun Dagger site at New Mexico’s own Chaco Canyon have been shown to have ways to make their ancient residents aware of the changing seasons.
Whether ancient or modern, people still enjoy the coming rebirth of Spring. It’s a time for looking to new beginnings and the reawakening of nature. For some it’s a deeply spiritual time, as seen in observances such as Easter and Passover. To others, it’s a celebration of the certainty that the earth will grow again. One tradition that marks both of these times is found in the colorful and special way many have of dressing to celebrate. So break out your Spring finery and celebrate however you choose!