Tomorrow's spring equinox is the only day when the feat of balancing a hen's egg perfectly on one end can be achieved, as the sun and earth align in gravitational harmony. At least, that is the tradition from the Chinese celebration of the spring equinox.
Though if you try it right now .. well, you may find it's not that different to tomorrow after all but it remains a good parlour game to entertain the family!
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A 24 hour period where night and day are the same length, the vernal equinox marks the official change of the seasons as is celebrated across the northern hemisphere.
Honouring what old Mother Nature is up to at this time of year, eggs are brought into the festivities as symbols of new life. Easter, the most eggs-travagant (!) of celebrations falls after the first full moon following the spring equinox.
Planting new seeds was also a popular custom across Europe. It persists in Sicily where the resulting seedlings are placed on loved ones' graves on Good Friday, symbolising the triumph of life over death.
The Japanese also traditionally honour their ancestors on the Equinox, which is a national holiday, but it is also a time to look forward and start new projects. New clothes and spring cleaning is the order of the day in Iran, where Nowruz, the New Year, is set according to the equinox date.
However you choose to celebrate, or not, the equinox signals a start to warmer weather and all the joys of spring. But do let us know if you manage to balance an egg ....
Celebrate the seasons with the DM Seasonal Card Collection - make sure you've got a card to hand, all year round.
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One of the most recognisable songbirds in the garden is the plucky Robin. Being a member of the thrush family, it’s not only cousin to the song thrush and blackbird, but also to the nightingale, so it’s no surprise that the robin has a beautiful voice as well.
The earliest depictions of the use of the heart symbol is believed to derive from the ancient culture of Cyrene, a North African city which was founded by the Greeks in 631 BC, and then later ruled by the Romans.
There’s a lot of ancient mythical beasts which seem pretty isolated, unique to a country’s culture, or even to a specific region. Others, like mermaids, dragons, and giants, are intercultural, being known by many. The Phoenix is one of these mythical superstars, and was known by the Greeks, the Romans, the Egyptians, and even by the Chinese.