Equal night Celebrations!

"Equal night"

On the spring equinox, the Earth hits the turning point in its orbit where neither the North or the South poles are tilted towards the sun.

For Finland and Finns the wait for the Summer is always a great thing. First of May celebrations are a very big in Finland as if the tough winter has been won. However there are traditions around the world and in Finland that go along with Equal Night as well.  

Vertical Equinox

As a result, the Sun spends a roughly equal amount of time above and below the horizon at every location on the Earth, so night and day are about the same length.

The word equinox is Latin for "equal night"

Meteorologists use it as the official turning point in the seasons because - although it can vary from year to year, it allows for the most accurate record-keeping.

When is the spring equinox?

This year, the vernal (or spring) equinox takes place on Sunday March 20.

After this point, the days will get longer and the nights will get shorter until the summer solstice on June 20, when the pattern will reverse.


How is the spring equinox celebrated?

Equinoxes and solstices mark key stages in the astronomical cycle of the Earth.

The March equinox has long been celebrated as a time of rebirth in the Northern Hemisphere.


Many cultures celebrate spring festivals and holidays around the March equinox, like Easter and Passover.

However, there are also a few more unorthodox celebrations - some of which date back thousands of years.

If you're looking for a way to mark the occasion, here are five weird traditions to give you inspiration:

1. Balance an egg

GettyTwo brown eggs
There is an ancient Chinese belief that you can stand an egg on its end on the first day of spring.

The theory goes that, due to the sun's equidistant position between the poles of the earth at the time of the equinox, special gravitational forces apply.

This is, of course, nonsense. But it does still make for a fun party game - and you can save your eggs to paint on Easter Day.

This was done in Finland to and it was very usual also on Sibelius times too around the turn of the 2000th century. 

2. Throw some coloured powder

Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times via Getty ImagesStudents play with colors on the eve of Holi Festival
Holi is an ancient Hindu festival celebrating the victory of good over evil. It takes place each year around the time of the vernal equinox.

Known as the "festival of colours", it is celebrated by tossing vibrant coloured powders onto each other and dancing in the streets.

This year, Holi falls on Wednesday March 23, but if you fancy brightening up your Sunday, why not get started a little early?

3. Wear a shamrock

The symbolic plant of the equinox in Druidry is the trefoil or shamrock, which is also customarily worn on St. Patrick's Day.

The three leaves shaped like hearts were associated with the Triple Goddess of Celtic mythology, otherwise known as the "Three Morgans"

The shamrock is thought to be symbolic of the regenerative powers of nature.

4. Plant seeds

Sunflower seedlings
The spring equinox is symbolic of rebirth, renewal, and growth, and in ancient Italy, it was traditional for women to plant seeds in the gardens of Adonis on this day.

The custom persists in Sicily, where women plant seeds of grains - lentils, fennel, lettuce or flowers - in baskets and pots.

When they sprout, the stalks are tied with red ribbons and the flowers are placed on graves on Good Friday, symbolising the triumph of life over death.

5. Visit an ancient monument

PAChichen Itza pyramid, in maya region of Yucatan, Mexico
Many of the world's ancient monuments were built as astrological calendars, to map the movement of the Sun over the course of the year.

The equinox is therefore a great time to visit these monuments, as they are often aligned to make the most of the Sun's unique position in the sky.

At Stonehenge in Wiltshire, the sun can be seen rising precisely between two stones, while at Chichén Itzá in Mexico, the rising sun transforms one edge of the giant pyramid into a blazing serpent, representing the Mayan god Kukulcan.

The Sibelius Monument in Helsinki Finland

More about Sibelius in our Blog >>

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