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Religious celebrations in springtime

Tree branches in the springtime 1
Peach blossom buds opening.

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Spring equinox celebrations in the Northern
Hemisphere when day and night are of equal
durations.

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The Spring Equinox in the Earth's Northern Hemisphere, is associated with, or also known as:

  • Alban Eilir,
  • The Arrival of Spring (in the Northern Hemisphere),
  • Eostar,
  • Eostre,
  • Feast of Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
  • Festival of Trees,
  • Lady Day,
  • NawRuz,
  • No Ruz,
  • Ostara,
  • Ostra,
  • Rites of Spring, and
  • The Vernal Equinox.

In the Southern Hemisphere, the same date marks the Arrival of Fall.

The Equinox happens at the same time everywhere in the world. During 2018, it occurrs on MAR-20 at 12:15 hrs. EDT or 16:15 hrs. UTC. During 2019 and 2020, it will also fall on MAR-20.

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The Spring Equinox:

There are two days each year when the daytime and nighttime hours are of approximately equal duration -- each being very close to 12 hours long. One occurs between March 19 and 21. It is called the Spring or Vernal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and the Autumnal Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere. The other happens in September.

The word "equinox" comes from the Latin words aequus (equal) and nox (night).

These dates have strong ties to religious celebrations, both ancient and modern. At an equinox, the Earth’s terminator – the dividing line between day and night – becomes vertical and connects the north and south poles. 2

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson coined the term "Manhattanhenge" in 2001 when he took a photograph down 34th Street of the sunset on the day of the Spring Equinox. The name was inspired by Stonehenge, a five millennia old stone monument in the UK where ancient Pagans celebrated the Solstices about June and December 21 yearly. This term has been recycled in other cities of North America to celebrate Bostonhendge, Montrealhenge, Torontohenge, ... 3

The pyramid at El Castillo (Spanish for "The Castle;" a.k.a. Chichén Itzá) in Mexico is aligned to create an amazing image of a snake descending down the stairways of the pyramid during sunset on the two equinoxes.

Topics covered in this section:

bullet Introduction:  Overview, timing, history
 
bullet Links to Easter & other religious celebrations
 
bullet Non-religious beliefs related to the equinox Balancing eggs; stuff that goes bump in the night
 

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Related essays on this web site:

bullet Easter

bullet Summer solstice

bullet Fall equinox

bullet Winter solstice

A video and groups of photographs related to the Spring Solstice::

  • Knowth.com videotaped an amazing video taken on the morning of 2005-MAR-23 inside of of Cairn T of the Loughcrew Megalithic Cairns. It is located about 50 miles northwest of Dublin in Ireland. They compressed a 50 minute transit across the backstone in the Cairn into a 40 second video. See: http://www.knowth.com/

    A series of still pictures can be seen at: http://www.knowth.eu/

Still pictures taken during the 2009-MAR-20 equinox can be seen at: http://www.newgrange.com/

  • MSN has a remarkable series of 39 photographs of people celebrating the spring equinox in various countries of the world including El Salvador, Khzakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, and the UK. See: http://photos.msn.com/

A book on Loughcrew:

Tim O'Brien has written a book titled: "Light years ago: A study of the cairns of Newgrange and Cairn T Loughcrew, Co. Meath, Ireland," Black Cat Press, (1992). Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store. This is an expensive book! However, used copies at a lower cost are often available.

Image used:

  1. "Peach blossom buds opening," public domain stock photos from www.pixabay.com
  2. Deborah Byrd, "March equinox: All you need to know," Astronomy Essentials, 2018-MAR-18, at:
  3. Hina Alam, "Rare magic hour coming to Edmonton on spring equinox," Edmonton Journal, 2018-MAR-17, at: http://edmontonjournal.com/

Site navigation:

Home >  Christianity > Practices > Holy days > Easter > here

Home > Christianity > Christian personalitiesJesus > Easter > here

or Home > Religious information > GodJesus> Easter > here

or Home > Spirituality > GodJesus > Easter >here

 Home > World religions > Wicca > Sabbats > here

 Home > World religions > Neopagan Religions > Wicca > Sabbats > here

Copyright © 2000 to 2018 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2000-FEB-23
Latest update: 2018-MAR-19
Author: B.A. Robinson

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