A different spring celebration
Updated: Jun 9
The equinox is celebrated in Romania through different ancient traditions, depending on the area where you are. This year, the spring equinox was celebrated on 20th March.
But what is this holiday about? The equinox can be translated into equal (aequus) night (nox, noctis), which marks the day equal to the night due to the rotation of the sun. It differs every year as date due to the differences between the calendar year and the tropic year.
The ancient people of Romania awarded a great importance to solar events. The equinox is believed to bring equilibrium in energy especially due to the balance between day and night, light and dark.
The ancient people of Romania had all the celebrations in accordance to the land that fed them. The importance of this day is high due to the beginning of a new agricultural year. Another celebration is that of the starting of the plough, moment celebrated in many other cultures around the globe.
A tradition is the children to beat ritually the earth with sticks to banish the cold and allow the warmth to take its place. Also children and youth gather in groups of 3 or 8 persons, decorate a tree branch with spring flowers and go carolling from house to house, offering to the owners a flower to cherish the coming of the spring. The girls then wear these flowers in their hair as it is believed to make the hair grow strong and helps their hearts to remain young.
In old times, the fires were lighted to burn the winter and rebirth through the heat the spirit of the spring. As the day starts to get longer, everything turns back to life after the winter.
The equinox is seen as the first step of the creative cycle that allows the nature to rebirth and retakes its natural course. Although we celebrate the spring with the beginning of March, the true agricultural spring only starts with this celebration, reason why the villagers put a great emphasis on this celebration.
How is the equinox marked in your area?