The spring equinox is one of two days of the year with equal parts day and night. While the two equinoxes hold much significance for many people, the crux of these days is that the sun shines directly on the equator which allows for an almost perfect split between day and night and it heralds the arrival of spring. Also known as the vernal equinox, the spring equinox is one of the best times of the year to view the northern lights, visit one of the seven wonders of the world, celebrate your mother, celebrate the new year, or have a family reunion.
The Japanese tradition of Shunbun no hi (Vernal Equinox Day) is one in which people take trips to their hometowns, gather with their families, tend to the graves of those who have passed, and basically reconnect as a family. The location, of course, varies depending on where you grew up (maybe you don’t want to travel to a colder area?), but you can opt to host this nearly anywhere. The bottom line is spending time with your family which could mean a visit to a place from where your family originated.
While we, in the United States, celebrate Mothers Day on the second Sunday in May, there are celebrations for mothers in the Middle East on the spring equinox. Why not surprise your Mom with a spring equinox visit to celebrate her? She won’t be expecting it and whose Mom wouldn’t love a little extra recognition for everything they’ve done for us? You could also surprise her with an impromptu trip to visit you, “just for the fun of it”, she won’t know what you’re up to until she arrives and feels the love.
With a Seven Wonder
Traveling somewhere warm in March is always a treat, incorporate a spring equinox trip with a visit to one of the Seven Wonders of the World. A visit to the Mexican state of Yucatán to Chichén Itzá is in order. Known as the Temple of Kukulcan, this Mesoamerican step-pyramid is a dominating figure of the archaeological site. Believed to have been erected sometime between the 9th and 12th centuries by the Mayan civilization, El Castillo (as it is known) welcomes the Return of the Sun Serpent every equinox to this Mayan pyramid that served as a temple to the god Kukulkan.
With a Resolution
Another tradition from another part of the world, Nowruz (which translates to new day in Persian) is observed on the spring equinox in several countries including Turkey, Iran, India, and other areas of Asia. As spring serves as a fresh start for many things so does the start of a new year. Perhaps your resolutions didn’t go so well at the beginning of our calendar year, here’s your chance to take another shot at them. If all else fails, you can ring in the Nowruz as you would our traditional new year, champagne anyone?
With the Northern Lights
Since it’s one of the best times of the year to view the Northern Lights, this is the one we’d recommend the most. If you’ve never experienced them, you absolutely must – they’re breathtaking, mesmerizing, and just simply beautiful. There are destinations all across the northern hemisphere which are ideal for viewing this phenomenon including Russia, Finland, Iceland, Greenland, and Sweden, but our pick – and the one that’s the closest – is Canada.
Plan an equinox trip to Canada and let the Northern Lights be the highlight. Make your way to Yellowknife, the capital and only city in Canada’s Northwest Territories. While you’re there, you’ll be able to take part in the Snowking’s Winter Festival. This community is situated on the north shore of Great Slave Lake and is known as the gateway to the north. Its position in this sparsely-populated area of Canada makes it ideal for experiencing the Northern Lights.
Will you venture north, travel south, or focus on family for the spring equinox? If you’re not sure, try using a travel agent specializing in luxury travel with our picks for the best luxury travel agents.