I may have mentioned once or twice how much I adore and respect the Hellenic organization Labrys. Two days after the Spring equinox, they held a celebration at the temple of Zeus at Nemea, and of course, there is a video that I would love to share with everyone.

The actual astronomical Spring equinox, also called the Vernal equinox, is the moment in spring when the nights and days appear to be equal. The name comes from a combination of the Latin words 'equal' and 'night', which are 'aequus' and 'nox'. The word 'nox' in Latin probably comes from the Greek "Nyx", the Goddess of the night. In astronomical terms Spring equinox varies each year but generally occurs about March 21st.

My Greek is still abysmal, I fear, but judging from the video and whatever I did understand, I am assuming we are privy to the opening words and the Blessing by Plethon (a Greek scholar of Neoplatonic philosophy) before we see bits of a hymn to Zeus and Apollon. Assuming they are relatively the same in all Labrys ceremonies, here are the first two as taken from their Summer solstice ritual from 2011:

"Opening words:
Come o MAKARES THEOI, illustrious friends of mortals. Mighty support of the Kosmos, come Immortal THEOI and rejoice in the libations. Grant to us mortals, all teachings of Arete, great happiness and much desired prosperity, here wine is poured as libation."

"Blessing by Plethon:
Let me never cease, o' MAKARES THEOI, to owe my gratitude to You for all the good things which I have received and still receive from You with Great Zeus as the sponsor.  Let me not neglect, in accordance with my capabilities, the good of my nation. To serve willingly the common good, and to view that as of great benefit to myself. Not to become the cause of anything bad, of the kind which befall humans but only of the good, for as far as I am able, that I may be happy, in likeness of You."

According to this account of events--again, in Greek--the main recipient of worship was Asklēpiós, and he was celebrated with libations, praise, hymns, and many stories about his deeds.

As far as I am aware, the ancient Hellenes did not have a festival that focussed particularly on the equinox. They celebrated many festivals in the month of Elaphebolion, dedicated mostly to Dionysos and Zeus, and in the beginning of the month, to Asklēpiós. Apollon is traditionally associated with this time of year as He returns from Hyperborea--a region far to the north of Thrace--where Apollon was said to stay the winter. It's not hard to imagine that the time around the Spring equinox was when the ancient Hellenes assumed He returned to Delphi. For more information about this event, please visit Beloved in Light.

This celebration is a modern one, but I welcome every single ritual if it brings Hellenes together in the spirit of the ancient Tradition. It look absolutely beautiful, and I would have loved to be there--as always with Labrys celebrations.