a vernal see-saw
balancing darkness and light
Kim M. Russell, 2017
Image found on stonehengetours.com
My response to Carpe Diem #1184 Spring Equinox (Haru Higan)
Today Chèvrefeuille has repeated a previous episode which explains the Vernal Equinox or ‘Alban Eilir’ which, for druids and pagans, is one of the most important celebrations of the year when, after the dark period of autumn and winter, light returns and nature comes to life again.
He has also told us how Spring Equinox is celebrated in Japan, where Haru Higan is a traditional national holiday. On the one hand, it is the celebration of seasonal change typical of an agricultural society, when day and night are equal in length. Based on Buddhist teaching, Vernal Equinox is also called Higan no Chu-Nichi, as is Autumn Equinox on September 23rd.
On Haru Higan, many Japanese visit their family tombs to pay their respects to their ancestors, weeding family tombs and leaving flowers, incense and ohagi (sweet rice balls covered with red bean paste). Chèvrefeuille says that boats are used to celebrate the returning of the sun, and it was a custom to go for a walk, enjoy one’s shadow, and pray for good fortune at temples and shrines, known as ‘praying to the sun’: at Spring Equinox festivities it was called ‘welcoming the sun’ and at Autumn Equinox festivities it was called ‘saying goodbye to the sun’.
higan made to wa moosedomo samusa kana
“fair weather by Spring’s Equinox”
so they say ..
© Issa – 1823
vernal equinox –
the rising moon is lit
by the setting sun
© Origa – 2008