It’s that time of year again- the birds and bugs are back and everything’s looking green again! We all love seeing September 1st come around, heralding the end of another cold winter here in Australia, BUT did you know that technically, Spring hasn’t quite sprung yet?
That’s because the official change of seasons is measured through key dates in the year called solstices and equinoxes, with the Spring equinox actually landing on September 23rd for 2017 (it generally lands on a date between the 20th and 34th each year).
What does this actually mean though? Equinoxes are seen as middle points- indication that our days are starting to grow longer and warmer according to meteorologists, who measure weather and seasons and the changes that happen to earth throughout the ‘wheel of the year’.
Image Source: depositphotos.com
Each year around this time, our green and blue planet earth lies “flat” in her orbit of the sun. Neither north nor south poles are tilted into or away from the sun- the earth is fully facing the sun. During the 24 hours of the actual equinox, it rotates once on its axis – thus the sun’s rays will have a unique opportunity to strike the surface equally from north to south poles, resulting in precisely twelve hours of day and twelve hours of night. From this day forward the light will increase with each day or degree the earth turns. Meteorologists view this as the perfect point for indicating the onset of these longer days, and even in ancient cultures these days marked the changeover of seasons.
One of our helpers. Image Source: Shuaib Rahman, Eco Food Wrap
Here at Eco Food Wrap HQ, we’re definitely seeing a change in the beautiful natural landscape that surrounds our rural, off-grid property. The birds are out in full force and the bugs are making an appearance. I recently ventured into our garden to get it ready for the coming season along with the help of our feathered family members (you may remember our rescue chickens from our previous blog). For those that own chickens, you already know how helpful these cute creatures can be! They were in their element; pecking at the dirt for bugs (thank you, natural pest control) and removing old growth and weeds (there’s the weeding done) and even turning over the soil with their beaks as they searched for a meal (garden bed: check!). They cut my work in half, meaning I could focus on another tradition at equinox- prepping seedlings for the new planting!
Time to plant these babies! Image Source: Shuaib Rahman; Eco Food Wrap
Historically, the spring equinox has always been observed as the marker for the season changeover, with some ancient cultures such as pagan cultures in Europe and the ancient cultures of the Americas and South America even building their belief systems around these dates. Many cultures believed the equinox marked a time of renewal and rebirth and planting of the next season’s crops at this time was thought to bear the best fruit for the coming year. Today, gardeners still use these same calendars as guides to plant new crops. As we try to have a sustainable household, much of our produce comes from these gardens, and planting our baby seedlings now means we can keep enjoying homegrown fruit, vegetables and herbs through next year as well.
Ostara/Equinox celebrations at Stonehenge, where it is celebrated in March (source: depositphotos.com)
Spring equinox is also seen as a time for new things- pagan cultures often celebrated Ostara at this time; to the ancients and to witches who communed with the laws of nature, these astronomical festivals once were (and in fact still are) as significant as when the Druids gathered at Stonehenge, or the Mayans around their wheel of the year, because with the spring equinox they ushered in the return of life itself. Ancient people had no way of knowing that the stars were ongoing and would be there for millennia to come, that the Sun was many millions of years old and yet still in its early lifecycles. Each winter brought the possibility of being an eternal winter, and the warmer weather was seen as a gift from their gods. The spring equinox still signifies the coming of the light, of warmth, of the return of life itself. The myths of Norse (Vikings), Celts, Greeks, Romans and the Egyptians all recognise the spring equinox as the new beginning.
The Golden Bough, the 20th-century bible of anthropology and myth by James Frazer, there was a reference to this idea of rebirth and renewal and celebrating the new in Australia, as seen in this passage from the text:
“The natives of central Australia regularly practice magical ceremonies for the purpose of awakening the dormant energies of nature at what might be called the approach of the Australian spring. Nowhere apparently are the alterations of seasons more striking than in the deserts of central Australia, where at the end of a long period of drought the sandy and stony wilderness, over which the silence and desolation of death appeared to brood is suddenly, after a few days of torrential rain, transformed into a landscape smiling with verdure and peopled with teeming multitudes of insects and lizards, of frogs and birds.”
We like to make this a sort of new-resolution time here at Eco Food Wrap HQ. Each spring brings a chance to try new things; new activities with the kids (through our local area nature and environmental playgroup which meets each week and explores local spots), new ventures for us, and also something new for Eco Food Wrap as well!
We recently offered a speciality EFW product with a voucher that appeared in delicious magazine, and a few of you mentioned that you would love to be able to purchase this product for yourself. You told us and we listened!
Our snack pocket with button tie is the perfect portable snack solution for all those new activities- you can even use it to sort your seedlings for the garden! This is an exclusive product that isn’t usually available to purchase, but we thought as a bit of a celebration for the changing of seasons, that we would make it available to you, Eco Wrappers, at an exclusive price.
For a limited time, you can purchase the EFW snack pocket with button tie for $7.00 each (RRP $12.00)! Simply use the coupon code EQUINOX17 when purchasing to grab your discount. The snack pocket with button tie will only be available until the end of September, so be quick and get the orders in. Be sure to share them on social media too- we want to see all your amazing uses for this little springtime treat (just tag us with #ecofoodwrap #springsnackpocket and we may even reshape your image on our account!)
Now, go, place that order and get outside in the glorious sunshine!