This is a ritual in that you do it every year to mark the change of season. It's basically an Easter egg hunt with a bit of spirituality thrown in. It is not a ceremony. I have found that kids don't stand much on ceremony. This is an at-home activity you can do with your own kids. If you have a camp out or sleepover for the equinox, you could work it into the activities too. If you have quite a few kids, you may need to do some improvising.
This activity is fun for kids 2 years old and older.
What We Do
We decorate a basket full of eggs and place them outside the evening before the spring Equinox for Eos. Flowers, drawings and other offerings can go in the basket as well. If you have an outdoor Circle or altar, it can go on there or on the porch. If at all possible, it can go on the Eastern side of whatever it is. If the weather is bad or you're worried about raccoons, feel free to place the basket on your indoor altar or the kitchen table. Whatever.
Then, we go to sleep. In the morning the kids discover that the eggs and other offerings in the basket are gone. (and the basket has been hidden!) Plastic eggs full of candy, money and other small gifts are scattered around the back yard! (Or house, depending on weather and yard availability) Some eggs contain a hint as to where the basket is hidden (or you can make a trail to the basket if space is an issue). In the basket are the bigger gifts. See the list of Spring Equinox gifts traditional in our house below.
You will need…
- Large white eggs.
- Three per child is a good number.
- Egg decorating supplies. Whatever works for you.
- A large basket.
- Or two identical baskets.
- Or one large basket and several smaller baskets if you have lots of kids.
- Or each child could have their own basket that they use every year.
- Ribbons and other supplies to decorate the basket if you wish.
- Several large plastic eggs.
- About three per child if you have a bunch of kids.
- You may specify a specific color per child or age group if you like.
A day or two before
- Hard boil your eggs
- Assemble some small gifts for your plastic eggs
- For teenagers & adults - candy, money, makeup, jewelry, crystals, mp3 player, zip drive, ear buds, keychains, mini logic puzzles, essential oils, nail polish, mini flashlight
- For bigger school aged - Candy, funky shoelaces, jewelry, hair ties, beads, crystals, hematite, chap stick, lip gloss, press on tattoos, small carved stone or glass animals.
- For younger kids - hair ties and ribbons, stickers, crayons, bouncy balls, play dough, magnets, finger puppets, action figures, small stuffed or plastic animals, little cars, sidewalk chalk, bubbles
- For toddlers and preschoolers- finger puppets, crayons, small stuffed animals, cute socks, rattle eggs, sidewalk chalk, bubbles
- Stuff your plastic eggs. Make sure you count them!
- Assemble bigger presents for the basket. Hide them and have them ready if you only have one basket or go ahead and stuff your extra baskets now.
- Traditional Spring Equinox gifts in our house include - sun hat, sandals, umbrella, raincoat, rain boots, kite, bicycle accessories, gardening tools, seeds & gloves, other outdoor toys like bubbles, sidewalk chalk, squirt guns, water balloon launchers (for the big kids), beach toys, balls, pinwheels and kites, lawn game sets (yard darts, ladder ball, etc.), small musical instruments and, of course, chocolate Easter bunnies, stuffed rabbits and birds (not all of them all the time, of course.)
- Read the directions for your egg decorating method to make sure you have everything you need and have a pretty good idea of how long it's going to take.
The day before the Equinox
- Bring the boiled eggs to room temperature and make sure they are clean and dry.
- After lunch, clear off your kitchen table to make a work space.
- Set up your basket and any decorations or decorating supplies you are using.
- Set up your egg decorating supplies.
- Bless everything and say a little prayer dedicating this activity to the glory of Eos.
- Have each child decorate a few eggs. You can have each one decorate one for him/herself and one or two for the Goddess.
- Set the eggs up to dry and decorate the basket while they dry. Or go on an outing, read a story or watch a movie.
- Place the dry, decorated eggs in the basket.
- At sunset, carry the basket to a special place. Your altar (indoors or out), your garden or another special spot outdoors.
- Put the children to bed with an appropriate story.
- Switch out the eggs for presents in the basket or switch baskets.
- It is best to do this before bed, otherwise the raccoons may run off with your basket.
- What you do with the eggs is up to you. Burying them in the garden or leaving them near a natural water source is popular.
- Go to bed.
- Wake up at dawn and have a dawn rite to Eos
- Hide the plastic eggs around your house or yard.
- Make sure you've counted them ahead of time so you know when they've all been found!
- Begin preparing an amazing Spring Equinox brunch while waiting for the kids to wake up.
- When the kids wake up, the real fun begins!
Make it Your Own
You can customize this ritual to make it your own in several ways.
- Make the offering to the God/dess that most suits your own tradition, or to the Nature spirits, faeries, ancestors, March Hare, Moon Hare or whatever suits your family best.
- Add whatever ceremony you need to make it feel spiritual, but don't overdo it so your kids get antsy. It should be fun!
- Find a chant or song to sing while you're processing out to the altar or garden (or whatever) to leave your offering.