Welcome to the next edition of the Wellness & Sustainability Council Newsletter! This post focuses on the spring equinox. This year the spring equinox falls on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at 5:58 pm. Recognized as a time of renewal and rebirth, this day marks the official first day of spring. Also called the vernal equinox, it is a day of equal amounts of daylight and darkness as the sun passes directly over the equator. Read below for ways to celebrate this special day!
- Get outside. Feel the sunshine, smell the fresh air, and look for the first signs of spring. Have any early spring flowers begun to poke through the soil? Are buds beginning to sprout on the trees? Do you see or hear any songbirds? Has the groundhog awoken and left his den?
- Plant new life. Consider planting some flowers or garden vegetables or herbs to mark the beginning of spring. If it is still too cold to plant outdoors, consider starting seeds inside and watching them sprout on a sunny window sill.
- Bring spring indoors. Celebrate the spring equinox by opening your windows and letting the fresh air inside. Or, buy a bouquet of fresh flowers.
- Read books about spring. Read books about the first day of spring. Help the children in your life understand the changing seasons and the significance of the vernal equinox. Here are some of our favorite spring-themed books:
- The Spring Equinox: Celebrating the Greening of the Earth by Ellen Jackson
- A New Beginning: Celebrating the Spring Equinox by Wendy Pfeffer
- The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
- Little Blue’s Truck Springtime by Alice Schertie
- Worm Weather by Jean Taft
- Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
- A Walk Through the Woods by Louise Greig
- Get creative! Engage in spring arts, crafts, or STEM activities. Paint or color with spring colors. Look through old magazines and create a spring collage. Think flowers, rainbows, baby animals, butterflies, caterpillars, frogs…
- Visit one of Cranbury’s parks. Celebrate this special day by spending time in one of Cranbury’s 11 parks and open spaces. Explore. Play. Run. Bike. Splash in puddles. Here is a link to a listing of all of Cranbury’s parks and open spaces https://www.cranburytownship.org/Parks/Parks_summary.html
- Spend the day with family. The vernal equinox is celebrated in Japan as Shunbun no Hi. It is a day to honor one’s ancestors and is often spent outdoors with family. How can you embrace this Japanese tradition? Consider spending time with your loved ones today and honoring the memory of those who have past.
- Tell a story. March 20 is also World Story Day! People from all around world celebrate this day by sharing stories with loved ones. What is your favorite story to share with loved ones? Encourage each family member to share a favorite story. Know you will be joining with others around the world as they share and listen to stories too.
- Celebrate the new year. Countries such as Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Georgia, and Uzbekistan welcome the new year, called Nowruz, on the vernal equinox. Before the new year arrives, Persian households often clean their entire house. Similarly, here in the United States, households often mark the start of spring with a little spring cleaning.
- Prepare a spring feast. Celebrate the start of spring by preparing a meal with early spring foods. Think eggs, early spring greens, seasonal local produce, local meats, breads, etc.
- View the night sky. Venture outside at night and focus your gaze on the night sky. What can you see? Do you recognize any constellations? A full moon will be visible in the sky just a few short hours after the start of the equinox. The full moon will also be the last in a series of three full moon supermoons!
Whatever ways you choose to celebrate this special day, remember to recognize it as a day of renewal and rebirth. And the start of more hours of sunshine each day!