Yesterday was the spring equinox, the point on the calendar which marks the end of winter and the beginning of the new season of spring. According to astronomists, on a day like this there are roughly the same number of hours of day as there are of night, based on the Earth’s movements around the Sun. For meteorologists, spring starts earlier in the month -around the 1st of March- when temperatures increase and flowers come out, and runs through to the end of May, instead of until the summer solstice in June. Today none of these markers are totally reliable, as climate change and the rise of temperatures globally are making it more difficult to decide when a season starts (and sometimes even the difference among seasons!).
Either way spring is here, and apparently, for many civilizations around the word it’s a time of new beginnings, both for nature and for people. The English word Easter, which for Christians involves the celebration of Christ’s resurrection, has its origin in pagan spring rituals and the pre-christian Anglo-Saxon term for ‘east’, that is derived from the Latin word for ‘dawn’. Anglo-Saxons worshipped Eostre (or Ostara), the moon goddess of spring and fertility, who was always portrayed standing among spring flowers and holding an egg in her hand. In fact, eggs were considered by Ancient Egyptians, Persians, Romans, Gauls, and Chinese a symbol of the universe. Celtic druids used to bury eggs in newly plowed fields as a tribute to the goddess of spring in order to wake her up from her winter hibernation and to ensure abundance and fertility. You can read more about it here.
Does the whole Easter egg thing make sense now?
As much as we love chocolate, we think it’s also symbolizes a chance to plant the seed for something great, so why not try something new today?
- Roughly (adv): approximately
- Dawn (n): the time of the day when the sun comes out in the morning
- Portray(ed) (v): to represent in a painting, drawing, sculpture, etc; make a portrait of
- Plow(ed) (v): cutting or turning over the earth in a field to plant seeds in agriculture