Every year, the Equinox Earth Day (also known as "Equinoctial Earth Day")
is celebrated on the Vernal equinox (around 20 March), a time that marks
the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere and the first day of autumn
in the southern hemisphere. The tradition began since March 21, 1970, when the first
Equinox Earth Day and also the first Earth Day was celebrated.
The Earth Day celebrations in March is said to have started with John McConnell,
a newspaper publisher and influential community activist.
In 1969, McConnell attended a UNESCO Conference on the Environment,
where he proposed the idea of having an annual global holiday called Earth Day
that would remind people of their responsibility to maintain the environmental
equilibrium of the earth. He hoped that this singular occassion would make people
join hands and recognize their common need to preserve Earth’s resources.
He chose the vernal equinox as the time of the Earth Day celebrations.
Supporting his decision regarding this date of observance, he himself said later:
"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. What could be more appropriate than the first moment of Spring,
when day and night are equal around the world and hearts and minds can join together
with thoughts of harmony and Earth's rejuvenation. Just as a single prayer can be siginificant,
how much more so when hundreds, thousands, millions of people throughout the world
join in peaceful thoughts and prayers to nurture neighbor and nature.
And so it came to pass we initiated the celebration of Earth Day on March 21, 1970
....Earth Day was firmly established for all time on a sound basis as an annual
event to deepen reverence and care for life on our planet. "