The First Day of Spring

The First Day of Spring


The vernal equinox, which marks the start of the astronomical season of spring, occurs today, Tuesday, March 19, at 11:06 p.m. ET. An equinox is when the sun passes directly above the Earth's equator, bringing nearly equal amounts of day and night on all parts of Earth.

Meteorological seasons are defined by the weather. They break down the year into three-month seasons based on annual temperature cycles. By that calendar, spring starts on March 1, summer on June 1, fall on Sept. 1 and winter on Dec. 1. Astronomical seasons depend on how the Earth moves around the sun.

The vernal equinox marks the moment the sun crosses the celestial equator. This is the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth's equator, from south to north. The vernal equinox happens on March 19, 20, or 21 every year in the Northern Hemisphere.

Spring begins on March 19 in 2024. Usually, it's March 20 or 21, but because it's a leap year and February gets an extra day, the season moves up a little on the calendar.

The date of the “equilux” — when sunrise and sunset are closest to 12 hours apart — occurred a few days before the equinox, on March 16 or 17 for most of the Lower 48 states.


Like the solstices, equinoxes are historic markers of seasonal change. The March equinox, unofficially marking the spring season, is traditionally observed as a time of rebirth and renewal. For this reason, many cultures have celebrated the March equinox as the first day of the new year.

An equinox is an event in which a planet’s subsolar point passes through its Equator. The equinoxes are the only time when both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere experience roughly equal amounts of daytime and nighttime.

The March equinox is the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere, and the autumnal equinox in the Southern. The September equinox is the autumnal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and the vernal in the Southern.

During the equinoxes, solar declination is 0°. Solar declination describes the latitude of Earth where the sun is directly overhead at noon. (The Equator, of course, is 0° latitude.) So, equinoxes are the only times of the year when the subsolar point is directly on the Equator.

The subsolar point is an area where the sun's rays shine perpendicular to Earth's surface—a right angle. Only during an equinox is Earth's 23.5° axis not tilting toward or away from the sun: the perceived center of the Sun’s disk is in the same plane as the Equator.


Ostara is a Pagan solar holiday honoring the spring's warmth, light from the sun, and the awakening of the earth.

Pagan celebrations during this holiday have themes of balance, renewal and rebirth. The symbols of Ostara are spring flowers, fairies, butterflies, rabbits and eggs.

Ostara is the celebration of the first day of Spring and is one of eight sabbats on the pagan Wheel of the Year. Although it shares many symbols with the Christian holiday Easter, Ostara has ancient roots in Norse culture.

Named after the Germanic Goddess Eostre, this celebration honors the divine feminine and the resurrection of life after the cold death of winter and the return of the sun. Whether or not you worship the goddess of spring, you can devote an altar to the season of Ostara or to your favorite fertility goddess such as Brigid, Freya, Demeter, Isis, Hathor, or Xochiquetzal.  

Color associations: Lavender, pink, light yellow, sky blue, spring green.

Altar Decorations: Freshly-picked flowers, decorated eggs, statues of rabbits, feathers, seeds, a small broom or besom.

Plants: Spring flowers (crocuses, lilies, tulips, etc.) lemongrass, thyme, red clover.


⚠️ Lilies are very toxic to cats, small dogs, and other animals. Do not bring lilies into your home if you have pets that may ingest them. Even smelling them or coming in contact with the pollen can be detrimental.

Although performed at the Christian celebration of Easter, the hiding and decorating of eggs is a tradition that stems from Germanic pagan practices. These decorated eggs were created as offerings to an ancient goddess of Spring as a symbol of fertility, creativity, and humility.

Fertility rites intend to stimulate reproduction in humans and in the natural world. Even if you aren’t looking to give birth, a fertility ritual can be used symbolically to inspire spiritual energy and creativity.

A common practice to welcome Ostara is baking. Some choose to bake hot cross buns to bring blessings of protection into the home. You can create a springtime work of art by baking a loaf of bread decorated with flower petals, peppers, or other vegetables. These beautiful hand-crafted loaves make wonderful offerings to deities.

If baking isn’t your thing, you can still cook with seeds and herbs to partake in some kitchen witchery and infuse your creations with the warm, buzzing energy of spring.

As the first day of Spring, this sabbat is a crucial time to plant seeds in order to ensure a fulfilling harvest. In colder zones, you can start seedlings indoors to get a head start on the year’s crops. You can also bless your seeds or ask for blessings from your fertility deity of choice to increase your chances of a bountiful harvest.

As you plant seeds in your garden, this is also a great time to consider the seeds you are planting in your everyday life. What new ventures are you starting? In what ways can you tend to these seeds a little bit, each and every day? Much like a garden, you will need daily tending in order to blossom into the best possible version of yourself.

As the weather now allows us to open up our homes to the fresh Spring breeze, it’s a great time to sweep away the negative energies that have been lying stagnant in the home all winter long.

Cast a banishing spell as you listen to some spring music along with a spring blessing chant. If you’ve collected some clutter throughout the cold months, then it may be warm enough to start packing these things away and organizing your home.

Follow up with a smoke cleanse or cleansing spray, but be sure to leave open a window or door to allow spirits that don’t belong to find their way out. Take this opportunity to honor and bless your home by thanking it for all it does for you.

Once you’ve cleansed your home, it’s time to start decorating! You can bring in a freshly-cut bouquet of spring flowers, carefully craft a besom, or place beautifully-decorated eggs around your home – the possibilities are endless!

Whether she is a trusted archetype that you work with or a goddess that has newly revealed herself to you, you can honor Eostre and the spirits of the Earth by taking time to learn about the history and customs that brought about the holiday of Ostara and how the spring goddess of the dawn relates to you.

Eostre was also a goddess of the dawn. Much like the rebirth of springtime, the dawn introduces new light into our lives. Each day presents a chance to reinvent ourselves to make sure we are in alignment with our highest form.

  1. On the morning of Ostara, wake up early, before the sun rises.
  2. Put on a pot of coffee or your favorite tea – bonus points if it’s a tea made with spring florals!
  3. Find a quiet place to sip your tea and meditate as you watch the eastern horizon for the sunrise.
  4. You can take this time to journal on your reflections or set a new intention as your bid good morning to the dawn.


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