There’s an old saying that March is like a season unto itself.
And every year this old adage seems true, as there can be warmer days and sunshine followed immediately by a late winter snow storm. And I’m willing to bet that after this year’s “Covid winter” that I am not the one yearning for warmer days and more sunshine.
The good news is that the official first day of Spring is Saturday, March 20. This day is known as the “Spring Equinox” or the “Vernal Equinox,” and it is only the second day of the year where daylight and darkness are equal, but unlike the Autumnal Equinox, which occurs in late September, the days from now on get longer and brighter, as opposed to shorter and darker.
So, March is the transition month – not quite winter but not quote spring, either. But change is in the air, and any one who might, for example, suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), need not worry as more daylight is on the way. What’s more, this past week Daylight Savings Time occurred, as we moved the clocks ahead to gain additional daylight. In fact, by mid-March people in the Northern Hemisphere experience “11.5 hours of sunlight, and more and more each day as the month advances.”
“[The] sun’s warmth begins to beat back the frigid forces of darkness,” author Hal Borland writes. He goes on to say: “Sometimes the equinox is cold and impersonal as a mathematical table, and sometimes it is warm and lively.”
And like other times of the year – the Winter Solstice in late December that marks the darkest day of the year, and the Summer Solstice in late June, which marks the longest day of the year, the Spring Equinox has been surround by myth a lore for centuries.
“As midpoints of the solar year, the equinoxes were not typically aa widely celebrated as the solstices in pagan Europe,” writes author Lisa Chamberlain. “However,” she continues, “there are megalithic sites in Great Britain that align with the Sun on this day, as there are in many other parts of the world.”
The month of March, Daylight Savings Time, and the Spring Equinox are all events occurring around the same time that help break winter’s cold grip on the North. These events mark transitions and change. After a long, cold winter (and especially a winter marked by COVID-19) many people are looking for change this time of year. Finally, with the official start of Spring taking place this week, it may give people sometime to look forward to.
Borland, H. 1964. Sundial of the seasons. Echo Point Books & Media. Brattleboro, VT.
Chamberlain, L. (2017). Wicca: The wheel of the year. Chamberlain Publicati