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Here Comes the Sun! Celebrate!

culture - AMS FulfillmentOn March 19th and 20th we’re going to experience the Spring Equinox, where the light of the sun falls equally on both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Americans are now celebrating Easter and Ramadan and the question is asked… are these holy seasons related to the Equinox? According to Google, one is, and the other is not.

“The timing of Lent is calculated based on the spring equinox, which falls between March 19 and 22. In contrast, Ramadan falls on the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which follows a lunar cycle. As a result, the dates of Ramadan change every year.”

Welcome to the Sun

Let’s have a look at how different cultures celebrate the end of winter and the return of the sun. Looking into history, people across the globe have celebrated the coming of Spring for millennia. Some interesting information on celebrations of Spring can be found at a website called the Synergy Company. [LINK]

“The first day of spring was so important to most cultures, that many considered it the first day of the year. One thing is for sure, pretty much everyone on the planet celebrates the arrival of spring, and here are some fun examples of how they do it.”

According to the article, there are Springtime celebrations in India, Greece, Thailand, central Asia (Iran, Turkey, Kyrgyzstan), Japan and Mexico. Let’s take a brief look at these celebrations. Please visit the website for more:

“HOLI: Known as the festival of colors, Holi is unquestionably the most vibrantly colorful spring festival in the world. It’s when Hindus in India and Nepal take to the streets to throw colored powder at each other, amidst loud music and drumming, in honor of the season’s multiple hues and stories in Hindu mythology.

“DIONYSUS FESTIVAL: The Dionysus festival was one of the most important events of the year in ancient Greece. Dionysus, god of fertility, wine, theater, and rebirth, was honored every spring with feasts, drinking, and general over-the-top merrymaking.

“SONGKRAN: Based on the Sanskrit word for “astrological passage,” Songkran is the traditional Thai New Year, and more widely known as the spring water festival. Festivities last for days and involve going to a Buddhist monastery, visiting elders, dancing in the streets to loud music, and, of course, throwing copious amounts of water at each other.

“NOWRUZ: People across the Middle East and Central Asia, including Iran, Turkey, and Kyrgyzstan, have been celebrating Nowruz since ancient times. The term Nowruz means “new day,” and marks the first day of spring and the new year, as well as a time of hope and renewal.

“SHUNBUN NO HI: In Japan, the spring equinox is celebrated with Shunbun no hi, when many people head to their hometowns, have family reunions, and visit the graves of their ancestors.”

Equinox on Display!

Next, we come to some celebrations where the ancestors built ways to put the Spring Equinox on display for all to see!

“MEXICAN PYRAMID CELEBRATIONS: The ancient Mayans had an astonishing level of astronomical knowledge that is on full display at the archeological site of Chichen Itza every vernal equinox. The temple of Kukulkan, also called the El Castillo pyramid, is where thousands of people gather to see the “Return of the Sun Serpent.” Every equinox, the sun casts a shadow over the pyramid that looks like an enormous snake moving down the pyramid.

“The archaeological site of Teotihuacan, near Mexico City, is another popular locale to celebrate the spring equinox. Hundreds of thousands of visitors, many dressed in traditional white clothes, climb the 360 steps to the top of the enormous Pyramid of the Sun. There they stretch out their arms to bask in the sun and absorb the special energy that rains down on them on the first day of spring.”

More About Easter and Ramadan

RAMADAN: The holy month of Ramadan began for Muslims on February 11th and will continue through March 28. Ramadan is a month of fasting between sunrise and sunset. There is no food or drink taken in during daylight hours. The Ramadan fast is intended to bring about private worship and nearness to God, and also serves as a reminder to empathize with those who are less fortunate.  Ramadan ends with a feast, called Eid al-Fitr where friends and family come together and bring gifts.

EASTER: The preparation for Easter starts with the season of Lent. The Lenten season begins on Ash Wednesday, which was February 14th, and ends on Easter Sunday. Lent is a time of fasting and prayer, and solemn observance in preparation for Easter. Palm Sunday takes place on March 24th, Good Friday on March 29th and Easter on Sunday March 31st. Easter is one of the most important Christian holidays, it memorializes the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is believed that this occurred on the third day of his burial. The week before Easter is known as Holy Week.

Welcome Spring Equinox!

We hope that our employees, clients and all readers are enjoying the secular and religious holidays that surround Springtime. We see the stores filled with flowers and eggs and bunnies – all symbols of the return of the light. When the day and night are equal in length, Life springs forth! Here it comes!!

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AMS Fulfillment is a B Corporation, dedicated to putting people and planet before profit. We work to B the Change we wish to see in the world.



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