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 Vernal Equinox

Spring Begins

March 20, 2016

Vernal Equinox

The word equinox derives from the Latin words aequus (equal) and nox (night). The equinoxes are the two days each year when the hours of night and day are in equal length anywhere on Earth.

The Vernal Equinox is known as the first day of spring, occuring in 2016 on Sunday, March 20 at 4:30am Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) or 12:30am Eastern Daylight Time.


International Earth Day

Celebrated on the vernal equinox to mark the precise moment that spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere, International Earth Day is a day recognizing the responsibility that earth inhabitants have to care for the planet.

At the moment of the equinox, the Japanese Peace Bell at the United Nations will ring -- signalling a minute for global silent prayer or reflection; a time for awareness that we are one human family, for heartfelt commitment to think and act as trustees of Earth.




Festival of Eostre

Held on the Spring Equinox in honor of Eostre - a Celtic/Germanic goddess of fertility - this ancient festival celebrates spring, rebirth, and new beginnings. The name Eostre is rooted in both the direction "East" where the rising sun bring a new day and the "Easter" resurrection.

Rabbits and eggs are traditional symbols of fertility and birth during Eostre and it is a common custom to hide brightly colored eggs for children to find.


Las Fallas

The onset of spring is celebrated in the explosive mix of pageantry and pyromania known as Las Fallas (pronounced FYE as). Held in Valencia's medieval streets and modern boulevards March 1-19 and culminating with St. Joseph Day and a Cremà (burning) on the eve of the vernal equinox, the festival attracts more than a half-million visitors. The fires of ancient pagan rituals are generally credited as the origin of this loud, smoky, rowdy fiesta.

Las Fallas Festival, Valencia 1935















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Vernal Equinox
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