Equinox Earth Day

One of the nifty things about Earth Day, is that there are two of them.  I like to celebrate both.  Today is the first Earth Day of the year, Equinox Earth Day, or some folks call it Equinoctial Earth Day.  The other one is more familiar to popular cultureEquinoxEarthDay-marchequinox and commercial interests.  That one is on April 22nd.

Actually, I prefer today’s celebration because it’s roots are ancient and celestial.  The one next month is more arbitrary.  Today’s Earth Day is marked by the March Equinox that brings us Spring in the Northern Hemisphere and Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere.

In my opinion, this time is easier to remember and it seems to be a more intuitive place marker.  Indeed, many ancient civilizations considered the March Equinox to be New Year’s Day. A vestige of this, in Western culture, is found in the art of Astrology.  The first Solar Month, Aries, begins at this time.

In this day and age, I can’t think of a better and more relevant holiday than Equinox Earth Day.  We can envision the progress of humanity regarding the preservation of the Earth and plan better strategies to overcome the willful destruction and neglect of our environment.


Credit for the beginning of Earth Day is given to newspaper publisher and community activist, John McConnell.  He attended a UNESCO Conference on the Environment, in 1969.  At that meeting, McConnell proposed the celebration of a Worldwide holiday called “Earth Day”. The reason for celebrating it on the Equinox was this:

“When I first conceived of Earth Day, a global holiday to celebrate the wonder of life on our planet, I thought long and hard about the day on which it should fall. It must be meaningful. One that might be accepted universally for all of humankind… When the Vernal Equinox dawned on me, I immediately knew it was right. The Earth tremor that shook our California dwelling, at that moment, seemed an omen of confirmation.”

Indeed, the idea caught on.  The very first Earth Day proclamation was issued by the Mayor of San Francisco on March 21, 1970.  More cities across the World followed suit to initiate the holiday into popular culture.  The following year, U.N. Secretary-General U Thant signed the proclamation to officially declare Earth Day celebrations to be held on the March Equinox each year.

Another reason for celebrating Earth Day on today’s date, is that over 175 nations observe it on the March Equinox.  More than 500,000,000 people celebrate it at this time each year.


My main objection to next month’s American version of Earth Day in April, is that major polluting companies have co-opted the commemoration as the major Greenwashing Day for their companies.  The first slap in the face was the promotion of plastic lawn and garden bags to be used to pick up litter by Earth Day celebrants.  I’ll be cringing, next month, as petro-chemical companies, solid waste firms, coffee marketers, and defense contractors toot their horns about how Earth-friendly they are. The once honorable April holiday has become McEarth Day, instead.

So, while I will help pick up stuff from the streets next month, I’ll really be celebrating Mother Earth today, Equinox Earth Day.

By the way, this year’s March Equinox, in my town, will be March 20th at 11:57 AM Central Time (16:57 UTC).


The Blue Jay of Happiness hopes you’ll consider today as a fresh, new beginning and rebirth.


About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in cultural highlights, Environment, Politics, Wildlife and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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