Celebrating the Spring Equinox

The word ‘Equinox’ translates into “equal night” and occurs when the length of the day and the night are approximately 12 hours everywhere on Earth. This happens twice each year, once in March (the first day of Spring) and once in September (the first day of Autumn).

The Spring Equinox (also called the Vernal Equinox) celebrates the renewed life of the Earth as nature bursts back into color and bloom.

This turn in the seasons has been celebrated by cultures throughout history who held festivals for their gods and goddesses at this time of year: Aphrodite from Cyprus, Hathor from Egypt and Ostara of Scandinavia. Historically, a woman and a man are chosen to act out the roles of Spring God and Goddess, playing out courtship and symbolically planting seeds.

trio of white tulips
bunch of purple lilac
pink and yellow tulips

Spring in Colorado

The beginning of Spring is a time for rebirth, growth and fertility and it’s a true marker that warmer, sunnier days are on the way. The ground becomes warmer and plants begin emerging.

Local farmers are starting seed planting and transplanting. Transplanting literally means to uproot and replant. Most often this takes the form of starting a plant from seed in optimal conditions, such as in a greenhouse, then replanting it in another (usually outdoor) growing location.

These are some of the earliest flowers that bloom here in northern Colorado:

  • Anemones
  • Crabapple Blossoms
  • Daffodil
  • Hellebore
  • Lilac
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Ranunculus
  • Tulip
bunch of daffodils
spring centerpiece of tulips daffodils and ranunculus

A Note on Daffodils

Daffodils have the honor of being one of the first to bloom each year. Their bright petals are typically found in shades of white, yellow or even pale orange. Daffodils are associated with love and fertility and they have several pieces of fun history surrounding them. In some folklore, daffodils are considered lucky flowers. In particular, there’s a tradition that if you make the deliberate effort not to step on them and crush them, fortune will favor you with abundance.

If you give someone a gift of daffodils, they’ll have good luck – but make sure you give an entire bunch because a single flower will draw ill fortune.

Also, in parts of the British Isles, including Wales, if you’re the one in your neighborhood who spots the first daffodil of spring, it means that you’ll see far more gold than silver come to your home over the coming year.

spring equinox bouquet of soft pinks and deep purples
pink and white ranunculus petals
bunch of pink and yellow spring flowers

Ways to Celebrate

If you’re looking for a way to honor the change of the season and the coming of Spring, here are a few ideas:

  • Get outside and connect. Take some time to surround yourself with nature and celebrate the new life beginning around you. Watch a sunrise or sunset, go for a walk, ride a bike or lay in the new grass.
  • Plant new life. The vernal equinox is a great time to start planting or preparing your flowers and gardens. If it’s still deeply winter in your area, you can begin some plants indoors to transplant to your yard when the time is right.
  • Prepare a family feast. Celebrate with foods that honor the coming of spring: early spring greens, sprouts, and seasonal produce.
  • Bring spring into your home. Pick or purchase a bouquet of spring flowers to refresh and renew your home or do a deep spring cleaning to restore balance in your surroundings and prepare for new beginnings.
  • Begin something new. It’s a great time to let go of the old and begin fresh with a new daily rhythm or routine to focus on renewal and productivity
macro image of cherry blossom branch with pink flowers
woman tying ribbon onto a white, pink and purple spring bouquet
hellebores flowers