Festivals of Spring

When you’re too overloaded at work to properly celebrate the Spring Equinox then you’re honour bound to go large at Easter, right? I love the opportunity to mix celebrating the old ways and an important Christian festival. It’s what the early Christians did after all. There are rituals associated with every school holiday but the ones in Spring always seem so hopeful and expansive. The family is back together for a few weeks; walks and picnics to local beauty spots are once more; the garden has come through the winter and is full of potential and there is a sense of perfect balance on the journey through the wheel of the year. The days are getting longer and warmer, life moves outside and the energy is expansive and exhuberant. I need that sense of renewal right now. If you live in the countryside the symbolism of the Spring festivals is all around – hares, eggs, chicks and nest building.

We’ll be collecting twigs to make up our Easter tree, baking simnel cake and chocolate cake, walking at Stourhead, Lacock or Great Chalfield, attending a dawn service on Easter Day and celebrating a couple of family birthdays with a special Easter tea. There are seeds to sow in the garden, garden furniture to repaint, spring cleaning to do and plans to be mulled over. I’m spending an hour in the garden with a notebook and a hot cross bun – powerful Christian symbol of resurrection and Celtic Cross, two Equinoxes crossed by the two Solstices, the four seasons, the four Sacred Directions of North, East, South and West and the four elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water with Spirit at the Centre. The circumference represents the cycle of the year, the circle of life, with the still point of balance at its centre. And you thought it was just a tasty treat spread with butter?

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