Vernal Equinox: March 20 or 21
The vernal ("spring") equinox ("equal night")
occurs on or around March 21, when the sun is directly over
the equator. Marking the beginning of spring, this day has
inspired many rituals celebrating the return of warmth, sunshine,
and renewed life in the northern hemisphere.
by Lee Hansen
Mardi Gras season begins on the 12th day of Christmas - January 6, but the
final day of partying is always 47 days before Easter, on the day before the
start of Lent, or Ash Wednesday. This famous and ancient holiday is also known
as "Fat Tuesday." On Fat Tuesday, Christians end their partying; the
next day is Ash Wednesday, the first day of a 46 day fast that lasts until Easter.
In Europe and other nations around the world, the season is also known as Carnival
In New Orleans, Lousiana (USA) the most famous of Mardi Gras (literally "Fat
Tuesday) celebrations takes place every year - with parties, festivities, merriment
and parades that push the limits of propriety on everything from food and drink
to attire and frivolity. Many people plan a Mardi Gras party during the month of February or March to coincide with Fat Tuesday celebrations or Carnival.
In Pennsylvania-German culture, Fastnacht Day is a day to feast on doughnuts. It's celebrated on Shrove Tuesday, or Fat Tuesday - the day before Lent gegins.
Fat Tuesday is the day when people eat many many "FastNachts"
- special Fast Night potato doughnuts without holes - in preparation for Lent
when these foods are typically given up until Easter. Historically, Pennsylvania Germans
used up all the fat and sugar they had on hand before the Lenten fast by making
these yeast-raised potato doughnuts and eating them with syrup. YUM!
More About FastNacht Celebrations
Gras celebrants party in costume - masquerade balls and parades are a major
part of the holiday - wearing traditional/official Mardi Gras colors of
purple, green, and gold, to represent justice, faith, and power respectively.
Bead necklaces, feathers, and shiny fabrics are hallmarks of Mardi Gras holiday
Mardi Gras Games Pack by Print Games Now
Earth Day - April 22 (originally celebrated on the Vernal
the energy crisis of the 1970's, Earth
Day has been a worldwide day of celebration focusing on
ecology, conservation, and protection of our environment.
Earth Day occurs on or around April 22 each year, and celebrations
focus on renewable energy, preserving natural resources, recycling
and changing global climate issues.
here to visit the Pastiche Earth Day Holiday Section
Ostara - the origin of Easter Eggs
One ancient holiday associated with the vernal equinox was
Ostara, a celebration honoring the Saxon lunar goddess
Eostre. According to myth, Eostre once rescued
a wounded bird, whose wings had become frozen by the cold,
by changing her into a hare who could more easily survive
keeping with her avian origins, the transformed creature was
still able to lay eggs; she expressed her gratitude to the
goddess by decorating those eggs and giving them to her. Missionaries
adapted Ostara traditions for Easter in the
hopes of converting pagans to Christianity.
reprinted from ClipArt.com
May 1 - A Celebration of Spring, and Much More
May is a month of many spring celebrations - May Day; Beltane,
Children's Day (Japan); Memorial Day (USA); and Lei Day (Hawaii/USA)
plus many other special days. Click here to learn more about
May 1 holidays.
Cinco de Mayo - May 5
Have a party to celebrate Cinco de Mayo - May 5. Make a fiesta
meal with these great
recipe ideas. Hang a pinata
for party goers to play and get prizes and treats.