As I was pumping water out of my basement this week, I was thinking, “Spring is FINALLY here.” We had a lot of snow this year in northern Maine, and the “Spring Melt” was delayed by unusually cold weather.
The date of the beginning of Spring: In the USA, we define it as the Spring Equinox (about March 20th, but the ancient Celts in Europe thought that spring began half-way between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice (about June 21st). So, according to Celtic sensibility, Spring doesn’t start until about May 10). Other cultures use different dates for the beginning of Spring.
The meaning of the word “Spring.” This refers to the idea that “new life springs forth.” Trees bud, flowers bloom, germination occurs, seeds are spread, and most species of animals give birth. Why now? Because the young organisms need to time to grow to be as large and strong as possible to survive winter.
Fertility rites and/or human sacrifice. Many cultures around the world, especially in temperate zones where the differences in the seasons are more pronounced, have festivals to honor the arrival of spring. Some of these cultures focus their celebrations on either symbolic or actual …. SEX. In ancient European rural peasant cultures, spring was one of those rare times when unmarried young people got a “free pass” to fool around, for a day or two. For centuries, this has provided poets, novelists, playwrights, composers, and film makers with ample material guaranteed to improve their sales. For audiences who wanted a bit of violence mixed in with their sex, some cultures (like the Celts) also practiced the sacrifice of animals or humans. Yes, spring has been a thematic goldmine for artists.
Here are a couple of my favorite “Spring” videos…
The Courtship of the Centaurs scene From Disney’s ”Fantasia.” This is as sexy as Disney gets.
Finally, I ask my fellow Trailmixers, what does Spring mean to you?
— Nash 2.5 is a Trail Mix Contributor