Iduna and Summer Finding

Iduna and Summer Finding

Vernal Equinox; around March 21 in the northern hemisphere and around September 23 in the southern hemisphere
Northern European pagan traditions placed great importance on the official advent of spring known as the vernal equinox. Iduna and Summer Finding, which today are observed by Wiccans and Neo-pagans, are two festivals that celebrate the time of the year in which daylight "overcomes" the night. While they are distinct festivals, both traditions share metaphorical imagery along with the same date.
In Norse mythology, Iduna is the goddess of spring and the keeper of apples of immortality. Her story mirrors that of the Greek goddess Persephone, in which a contriving god abducts her and takes her magical fruit away. She eventually returns, but in the form of a quail, symbolizing the return of the bird from its winter roost. Similarly, Summer Finding focuses on a tradition in which the year's first spotting of a bird or a flower marks the "finding" of the warm season. In some old traditions, whoever discovered the first bird marked the spot with a pole, which is afterwards decorated with flowers.
Among Wiccan and Neo-pagan followers, Summer Finding or Iduna is less commonly observed than Ostara, the equinox festival celebrating the spring goddess of the same name.
SOURCES:
RelHolCal-2004, p. 271
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