Today marks the first day of spring, otherwise known as the vernal equinox, and the days are going to begin to get longer as we near the summer months. The word “equinox” refers to the equal length of night and day on the first day of spring. Though today’s weather is dreary, we can be hopeful that the weather will warm as the Earth tilts towards the sun.
Throughout human history, the spring equinox has been a day of celebration and renewal. In astrology, it marks the beginning of the astrological calendar with the sun in Aries.
Aries is associated with fire (the sun), Mars (aggression and war in Roman mythology), and the ram (headstrong, first in line). Aries people are considered unafraid of challenges and are known as being natural leaders, and being first at something, all things related to springtime: In nature, baby animals usually born in the spring have to be unafraid of challenges in order to survive, and being headstrong is a survival tactic for many animals. Since Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, it makes sense that Aries people are considered as being having a need to proclivity to lead or be “first” at something.
For many cultures, the first day of spring marks fertility and rebirth. In Mexico, people celebrate the festival de primavera, and children dress up in costume and put on parades. Many Mayan archeological sites in Mexico are also visited on the vernal equinox, particularly at Chichen Itza, where the sun hits Kulkulkan temple to make the light appear as if a snake is crawling up the side of the temple. About 40,000 people go to Chichen Itza every year to witness this ancient engineering wonder.
Some people think that on the spring equinox, it is possible to balance an egg perfectly on it’s end, but as Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy writes, “If you can stand a raw egg on its end, it has nothing to do with the Equinox.” So, there you have it, a few facts about the vernal equinox!