|Alphons Mucha - Spring|
With the heralding of spring, the approach of summer, and warmer weather (well, for those of us in the northern hemisphere anyway,) “spring fever” is a common malady. Some battle pollen, while others look with horror upon the emergence of roaches, spiders and other creepy crawly hatchlings and would just as soon the pests stay frozen. Still, most of us happily embrace this time of year, much as they did in the past.
Our European ancestors greeted the vernal equinox with gratitude. Like the Autumn Equinox, the Vernal or Northward Equinox is one of two days a year when the day and night are equal in length. This day marks the end of a long, cold, and at times, very cruel winter, and the beginning of new life, spring.
During the vernal equinox, festivals and holidays take place all over the world. In many parts of Asia this day also marks the New Year.
Before Christianity took hold, the Scandinavian people celebrated Dísablόt, meaning the “sacrificial holiday,” which they held in honor of female deities or the “dísir” and the beautiful shield maidens, the Valkyries. Dísablόt celebrates the “fertility” of spring and summer which enhances the fall harvest.