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The 2019 spring equinox falls on March 20 in the Northern Hemisphere, marking the end of winter and the start of the astrological new year. Around this time, people rejoice over new beginnings, the blossoming of plants and trees, and the revival of the spirit.
The astrological new year welcomes the first sign of the zodiac: the fire sign, Aries. This sign typically represents youth and energy, which many people feel at the beginning of the year. People typically celebrate with community festivals, bonfires, and other outdoor activities. Also, by taking the time to set goals and think about new beginnings for the year ahead.
What is the Spring Equinox and How Do We Celebrate?
The equinox marks the end of winter and ushers in a warmer and brighter time. Many countries observe daylight saving time in the spring to extend daylight into the evenings.
People have celebrated the spring equinox for centuries, all around the world. Here’s a look at some various traditions:
- Ancient Christians celebrated Easter in relation to the spring equinox when Jesus was thought to have died and been reborn.
- Many pagan celebrations link to the spring equinox — celebrating renewal, rebirth, and often rekindled romantic relationships.
- Ancient Egyptians built the pyramid of Giza to sit facing the sun in direct alignment during the spring equinox.
- Ancient Mayan people celebrated the equinox in Chichen Itza, Mexico, with many sacrifices. At one of the pyramids there, the sun streams down the front steps on the day of the spring equinox. Many refer to this as “a snake of sunlight.”
- Japan celebrates equinoxes as national holiday, and views them as a time to honor and remember ancestors.
- India welcomes spring with the festival of Holi, which celebrates good over evil. It also features many people throwing colorful powder into the air and at one another.
The History of Astrology
For many centuries people used astrology (the patterns and movement of the stars overhead) for meaning and guidance. The earliest astrological systems helped explain phenomena like weather, seasons, and crop success. Our ancestors did not understand why such events happened. Thus, they created stories from the star patterns that were then passed on for generations.
While Mayan people, Chinese people, and others created their own astrological systems, Western astrology is thought to have originally started in Babylon. The modern system borrows characteristic from the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean systems and uses the word “zodiac” from the Greek system.
Today astrology has experienced a slight resurgence in Western culture. In the age of technology and constant connectivity, some point out that younger generations once again crave meaning and reason beyond the vast knowledge of information they can easily access. It’s because of this that some believe people are returning to astrology for deeper meaning.
How to Celebrate the Spring Equinox & Astrological New Year
While you may not typically recognize the spring equinox or the astrological new year, it can be a great opportunity to renew your energy, set new goals, and refocus. Here are some ideas to celebrate the spring equinox and the astrological new year:
- Invite your friends over for a celebration and focus on reconnecting with them and learning more about their hopes and ideas for the coming year.
- Go through your closet and purge anything that you don’t need in order to move into the new year without excess materials.
- Enroll in a new workout class or join a gym to focus on taking care of your body in the coming year.