Oh, Spring is surely coming,
Her couriers fill the air;
Each morn are new arrivals,
Each night her ways prepare;
I scent her fragrant garments,
Her foot is on the stair.
—John Burroughs, “A March Glee”
The spring equinox (also called the vernal equinox) starts today, March 20, and signals the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Days and nights become more or less equal (equi or aequus for equal and nox for nights) with 12-hour durations. We use the equinox to observe the change in seasons as there is an increase in the amount of sunlight that is now available, thanks to early dawns and late sunsets. The increased sunlight triggers singing in birds who begin migrating north, following the path of the sun as it moves northward.
The March equinox is associated with rebirth and renewal in the Northern Hemisphere, which means that there are a lot of festivals. Many cultures celebrate spring festivals such as Easter, Holi, Passover, Cherry Blossom festival, and Nowruz, to name a few. But what I want to focus on in this post is the unofficial ways to celebrate the official start date of spring.
6 Ways to Celebrate the First Day of Spring
After being cooped up indoors for months, it’s a relief to go outside and look at the sun again. Welcome spring back into your life as you would an old friend; spend some time outdoors. What that looks like is up to you, but long rambles, drinking your coffee or hot chocolate outdoors, reading a good book while parking yourself on a bench, and pottering about in the garden all come to mind. If it’s still too cold for all of this, take heart. It will be warm enough very soon.
The beginning of spring is also a great time to do some personal stocktaking and welcome the season by indulging in that most typical of springtime activities — spring cleaning! If you’re familiar with this blog, you’ll remember my old post about green cleaning your home. Start this spring with a promise to yourself that you’ll shed the old toxic cleaners and embrace green cleaners instead. Nothing like a brand new season in a brand new year to kick-start some new resolutions.
Listen to Music
There is a lot of music out there that is inspired by the spring, and listening to these tributes will put you in the mood for spring, whether it has arrived or not. Here’s a compilation of some of the best spring-themed music out there, from Vivaldi’s joyful rendition of spring to Copland’s Appalachian Spring.
Harness all that creative energy and make or draw something. You could create spring wreaths around hoops for your front door, or you could draw or paint or color in spring-themed art. It’s a great time to sit at a window and look at all the regeneration around you; it’s an inspiring time of the year. So get inspired!
Buy Some Flowers
Spring is the perfect time to treat yourself to some cut flowers for your abode. You can either pick flowers from your own garden, or you can pick wild flowers from an obliging meadow. Of course, if you don’t have access to flowers from the lap of nature, the next best thing is to buy yourself a bunch of flowers from the market. I know it’s a bit dear and not easily afforded on a regular basis, but you can make an exception for the first day/week of spring.
If you’re inclined toward gardening, spring time is the perfect time to get started on your garden. You have hopefully done enough in the winter time to get your garden ready for spring, so now it’s just a question of going through the spring checklist and letting your garden grow. Whether you’re planning on planting vegetables or flowers (or both), you may want to consult the almanac that will help you follow nature’s signs for planting in the garden and guide you with a planting calendar as well.
How are you celebrating the first day of spring? Let us know in the comments below!
Awanthi Vardaraj lives and writes in the port city of Chennai, in the south of India, where she runs her own small artisanal bakery and keeps a garden full of jasmine plants and herbs that she still cannot name. As a freelance writer, she mostly focuses on food, feminism, travel, mental health, and poverty. She also nurtures a deep love for the Oxford comma and the semicolon. Visit her website at www.awanthi.com and follow her on Twitter at AwanthiVardaraj.