By Gary Berg-Cross
It’s March again and after a mild winter the longer daylight hours have sweet sap rising. Bulbs, shoots and buds burst are venturing forth in color along with the witch hazel in my backyard, which still is feeding robins. As in 2011 I look forward to the change of seasons and some secular pleasures that DC offers. For sure Saturday, March 17 is St. Patrick's Day. On the 2oth we have the Vernal equinox. Monday, 19 March 2012 at 7P.M.you can celebrate this First Day of Spring (in the Northern Hemisphere) at the Takoma Park Planetarium. As I have said before the Spring equinox is an obvious secular Spring event to. There's a funny write-up by the Onion on “Area Pagan Dreading Big Family Vernal Equinox Celebration”.
A few days later we have the Reason Rally on March 24th from 10:00AM – 6:00PM on the National Mall. This is expected to be the largest gathering of secular movement in US, if not world history. A great time to be in DC. Washington Area Secular Humanists (WASH) is a sponsor along with:
- American Atheists
- American Humanist Association
- Atheist Alliance of America
- Atheist Nexus
- Camp Quest
- Center for Inquiry
- Foundation Beyond Belief
- Freedom From Religion Foundation
- Freethought Society
- Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers
- National Atheist Party
- Secular Coalition for America
- Secular Student Alliance
- Society for Humanistic Judaism
- Stiefel Freethought Foundation
- The Brights
- The James Randi Educational Foundation
- The Richard Dawkins Foundation
- United COR
WASH is looking for volunteers to help at the Reason Rally merchandise table and to usher on the Mall.
While secular people are in town for the Rally those who don’t mind moving indoors can enjoy some of secular treasures such as at the Library of Congress. But there’s an exhibit at the National Archives that is here till May 6th on "Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World" that explores his creative and inspiring life from printer, traveler, Founding Father, pioneering scientist, diplomat, humorist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. The exhibition includes pictures of Franklin I’d never seen before and worth the admission. There are also 20 hands-on interactives, such as games, experiments, demonstrations, animations, and maps.
Another reason it is great to be in DC this Spring.
Oh and yes this year March 31st have the 2012 Earth Hour (8:30pm-9:30 local time). Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney Australia when an estimated 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change. It has become an annual global event, organized by the non-profit World Wildlife Fund. In 2008, for example, it became more of a global sustainability movement when over 50 million people who own homes and businesses across 35 countries participated by:
"switch(ing) off their lights and to stop using electrical equipment for one hour in order to raise awareness about the effects of global warming and climate change."