The first day of spring arrives with birds chirping and colorful flowers. But that’s just the surface of the springtime season and the day known as the spring equinox.
What Is An Equinox?
The word equinox has two meanings – one is a set of celestial coordinates, and the other is the moment the sun passes the earth’s equator.
The word ‘equinox’ comes from the Latin words ‘aqueous’ and ‘nox,’ which means “equal night.” This fits the term equinox because the days and nights are almost equal on this day.
As far as seasons go, there are two seasonal equinoxes on Earth – the equinox that occurs in the springtime and the equinox that happens in the winter. The equinox that occurs in the springtime welcomes warmer weather, and the fall equinox brings cooler weather.
What Is An Spring Equinox?
The spring equinox is the first day of spring. In the northern hemisphere, it occurs when the sun crosses the celestial equator south to north. During this time, neither hemisphere is tilted more towards the sun than the other.
Every day between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, the days get longer. However, on the equinox that happens in the springtime, the days will finally catch up with the nights and start being longer.
This happens until the fall equinox when they become shorter again.
When Is Spring Equinox?
The spring equinox is the day that marks the beginning of spring. This is the March equinox for most of us but is known as the September equinox for those in the southern hemisphere.
|Year||Northern Hemisphere Date||Southern Hemisphere Date|
|2023||March 20||September 23|
|2024||March 20||September 22|
|2025||March 20||September 22|
|2026||March 20||September 23|
|2027||March 20||September 23|
|2028||March 20||September 22|
What Happens On Spring Equinox?
On the spring equinox, the sun crosses the equator and welcomes a new season. However, if you take a deeper look at the celebrations of the “holiday,” you may learn to appreciate it even more.
Day and Night Balance
Equinox means equal day and night for a reason. The days and nights around the time of the equinox in the springtime aren’t exactly equal, but they are as close as they will be.
The snake of sunlight is a Mayan observation that takes place on the spring equinox. Around 1000 AD, huge pyramids were built that could track the seasons.
To this day, on this equinox, it appears as if a giant serpent is slithering down the steps due to the shadows from the sun.
In the south, the spring equinox is the opposite of the autumn equinox. The weather is opposite there, so what we celebrate as the return of spring, they celebrate as the return of autumn.
Persian New Year
On the spring equinox, Persians celebrate Nowruz, which is marked with the Iranian calendar. Around 300 million people celebrate this holiday with “Navroz Mobarak!” The holiday lasts nearly two weeks with cleaning, egg painting, and going door to door asking for treats.
Sunsets for All
The equinoxes are the only times each year that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west for everyone on Earth. This is a lovely way to reign the world together with nothing but the tilt of the earth’s axis.
When Is The First Day Of Spring?
The first day of spring has two dates. One is used by meteorologists, and the other is used by the rest of the population.
The astronomical first day of spring is the equinox that happens in the springtime. This is the spring we’ve been discussing and the one that is defined by the location of the sun relative to the Earth.
It begins around March 20 for most of us and September 22 for the southern hemisphere.
The meteorological first day of spring happens on March 1. This is not the equinox that occurs in the springtime but instead, the date that meteorologists use to track weather records. With this method, the last day of springtime is always on May 31.
Signs of Springtime
- Spring flora – more colors appearing in pastels is a sure sign of springtime.
- Morning alarm – birds chirping at dawn in most regions marks the new mating season
- Hares fighting – female hares fight off male hares
- Trees begin to green – new green leaves litter trees, mixing with the reds and oranges
- Hibernation ends – mammals come out of hiding, ready to hunt