Londoners are celebrating the spring equinox on Primrose Hill this Sunday. The Loose Association of Druids will gather at 12.30pm in the Hawthorne Grove near the summit, before emerging at 1pm for an open-air ritual. All are welcome to join: expect white robes, circular processions and invocations of Ceridwen the Earth Mother. Celebrants are invited to bring a contribution to the communal druidic picnic afterwards: we suggest a flask of mead and a quiche laced with fresh spring herbs.
When did all this begin?
The vernal equinox falls when night and day are the same length, when the wheel of the year turns and the sun regains its strength. Druids call it Alban Eilir, ‘The Light of the Earth’. The first Gorsedd (sacred Druid gathering) was organised on Primrose Hill in 1792 by a Welsh stonemason called Iolo Morganwg. He surrounded a small group with a sacred circle of scattered pebbles; seek out the memorial stone that marks the spot.
The festivities continue at noon on Monday. Process in silence along Byward Street and watch the Druid Order scatter seeds on Tower Hill Terrace. Make sure you sprinkle some snacking seeds yourself to ensure a fruitful year ahead.
Henry Eliot and Matt Lloyd-Rose, co-authors of ‘Curiocity: In Pursuit of London’.