When does spring start? In 2023, the official first day of spring isMonday, March 20. This date marks the “spring equinox” in theNorthern Hemisphere.What IS the spring equinox and is it always on the 20th? Before you try to balance that egg, read on to learn more—plus, enjoy ideas on how to celebrate theseason!
When Is the First Day of Spring2023?
In 2023, the March equinox happens on March 20, at 5:24 P.M. EDT. This falls on a Monday and is the astronomical beginning of the spring season in the Northern Hemisphere and the autumn season in the SouthernHemisphere.
If you thought that the spring equinox only ever occurred on March 21, you may be datingyourself. The civil calendar date of the equinox continues to shift every year.Find outwhy.
|Year||Spring Equinox (Northern Hemisphere)||Spring Equinox (Southern Hemisphere)|
|2022||Sunday, March 20, at 11:33 A.M. EDT||Thursday, September 22*|
|2023||Monday, March 20, at 5:24 P.M. EDT||Saturday, September 23|
|2024||Tuesday, March 19, at 11:06 P.M. EDT||Sunday, September 22|
|2025||Thursday, March 20, at 5:01 A.M. EDT||Monday, September 22|
*Due to time zone differences, this equinox will technically occur on the next day in some parts of theworld.
What Is the SpringEquinox?
In the Northern Hemisphere, the spring equinox in the Northern Hemisphere (also called the Marchequinox or vernal equinox across the globe)occurs when the Sun crosses the celestial equator going south to north. It’s called the “celestial” equatorbecause it’s an imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator. Imagine standing on the equator; the Sun would pass directly overhead on its waynorth.
After the spring equinox, the Northern Hemispherebegins to be tilted moretoward the Sun, resulting inincreasingnumber of daylight hours, withearlier dawns and later sunsets!(In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the opposite: the March equinoxmarks the start of autumn, as the Southern Hemisphere begins to be tilted away from theSun.)
Although in most locations (the North Pole and Equator being exceptions)the amount of daylight had been increasing each day after the winter solstice, after the spring equinox, many places will experience more daylight than darkness in each 24-hour day. The amount of daylight each day will continue to increase until the summer solstice in June, during which the longest period of daylightoccurs.
→See your personalized Sun rise and set calculator.
Here’s an interesting fact: Equinoxes are the only two times each year that the Sunrisesdue east andsetsdue west for all of us on Earth! While the Sun passes overhead, thetilt of the Earth is zero relative to the Sun, which means that Earth’s axis neither points toward nor away from the Sun.(Note, however, that the Earth never orbits upright, but is always tilted on its axis by about 23.5degrees.)
Read more aboutthereason for the seasons.
What Does “Equinox”Mean?
The wordequinoxcomes from the Latin words for“equal night”—aequus(equal) and nox(night).On the equinox, the length of day and night is nearly equal in all parts of theworld.
Spring Equinox FAQs
Q: Does Spring Begin on March 1 or on theEquinox?
A: Well, both. Theanswer depends on your definition of “spring.”Both dates are accurate; they’re just from different perspectives. We’ll explain…
Astronomically speaking, the first day of spring is marked bythe spring equinox, which falls on March 19, 20, or 21 every year. The equinox happens at the same moment worldwide, although our clock times reflect a different time zone.And, as mentioned above, this date only signalsspring’s beginning in the Northern Hemisphere; it announces fall’s arrival in the SouthernHemisphere.
Interestingly, due to time zone differences, there isn’t a March 21 equinox in mainland U.S. during the entire 21stcentury! We won’t see a March 21 equinox againuntil2101.
Meteorologically speaking, the official first day of spring is March 1 (and the last is May 31). Weather scientists divide the year into quarters to make it easier to compare seasonal and monthly statistics from one year to the next. The meteorological seasons are based on annual temperature cycles rather than on the position of Earth in relation to the Sun, and they more closely follow the Gregorian calendar. Using the dates of the astronomical equinoxes and solstices for the seasons would present a statistical problem, as these dates can vary slightly eachyear.
Q: Are Day and Night Equal on theEquinox?
A: Quite close!In reality, dayand night arenot exactly equal on the equinox for two reasons:First, daytime begins the moment any part of the Sun appears overthe horizonand is not finished until the last part of the Sun disappears below the horizon. If the Sun were to shrink to a starlike point and we lived in a world without air, the spring and fall equinoxes would truly have equalnights.
→Read about more fun facts in the Almanac Astronomer’s post, “Vernal Equinox Oddities.”
Q: According to folklore, you can stand a raw egg on its end on the equinox. Is thistrue?
A:This eggfolklore became popular in 1945 following aLIFE articleabout the spring practice. “The origins of this myth are attributed to stories that the ancient Chinese would create displays of eggs standing on end during the first day of spring,” according to John Millis, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Anderson University in South Carolina. “The ancient Chinese celebrated the first day of spring about six weeks earlier than the equinox”—not just on the equinoxitself.
As with most folklore, it’s only partly true. Youshould be able to balance an egg on its end on the equiox, but it’spossible to balance an egg on other days,too!
Folklore or not, this egg trick sounded likefun to us. One spring, a few minutes before the vernal equinox, several Almanac editors tried this trick. For a full workday, 17 out of 24 eggs stood on end. Three days later, we tried this trick again and found similar results. Perhaps three days after the equinox was still too near. Perhaps the equinox has nothing to do with it. Perhaps we just don’t like to take ourselves tooseriously!
Try this yourself and let us know what happens.(Tip: You’ll probably have better luck balancing an egg if you try it on a rough surface or use an egg that has a bumpyend.)
Q: Which Day Has the Most Sunlight in NorthAmerica?
A: The Summer—or “June”—Solstice is called the “longest” day of the year! The date of the longest day actually varies from June 20 to June 22, depending on the year, and the local time zone. By “longest day,” we mean the day that gets the most daylight (versus darkness).See our Summer Solstice page.
Some Ideas on How to CelebrateSpring!
To us, the vernal equinox signals new beginnings and nature’s renewal in the Northern Hemisphere!Many cultures celebrate with spring festivals, such as Easter and Passover.
Here are some ideas for how to spend the first week ofspring.
- Get outside! Look around. Are worms and grubs reappearing?(The March Full Moon is called the “Worm Moon” for this veryreason!)
- Watch the arc of the Sun across the sky as it shifts toward the north. Birds are migrating northward, along with the path of theSun.
- Are you noticing that the days are getting longer? Did you know that the increasing sunlight inspiresbirds tosing? Cool, eh? Enjoy ourBird Songs page.
- Are daffodils poking up their heads? Trees, shrubs, and flowers are sensitive to temperature and day length, too! Since ancient days, people have usednatural events as indicators of when the weather is right for planting. For example:Blooming crocus are your cue to plant radishes, parsnips, andspinach. See more of nature’s signs.
- Can you feel the Sun getting stronger? The longer days bring high temperatures.Both we and the animals around us discard our warm clothes and heavycoats!
- Do you plan to garden?The first day of spring is a traditional day to start in the garden! There’s nothing more restorative!See which days arethebest planting datesaccording to your local frost dates or consult our Vegetable Gardening for Beginners guideto getstarted!
- Are you craving fresh foods after a long winter? ASpringTonic, using the early greens ofspring, may be just the thing you need! Also, find some new spring recipes using what’s fresh andseasonal!
Ancient Equinox Traditions: The Snake ofSunlight
Scientific explanation aside, our ancestors were more connected to the Sun than we are today. They observed itspathway across the sky, andthey tracked how the sunrise, sunset, and day length changed, using the Sun (and Moon) as a clock andcalendar.
There are many ancient sites that mark the equinoxes (and solstices). One of the most famous ancient Spring equinox celebrations took place atChichen Itzain Mexico. The Mayans built a huge pyramid around the yearA.D.1000.Even today, the way the Sun’s light falls on it signals the beginning of theseasons. On the spring equinox, it looks like a huge snake is slithering down the steps. Mayans called this day “the return of theSunserpent.”
→ See more examples ofancient seasonal markers.
Spring Verse, Quotes, andSayings
- For glad Spring has begun,
And to the ardent sun
The earth, long time so bleak,
Turns a frost-bitten cheek.
- Celia Thaxter, American poet (1835–94)
- Spring-time sweet!
The whole Earth smiles, thy coming to greet.
- Never yet was a springtime,
Late though lingered the snow,
That the sap stirred not at the whisper
Of the southwind, sweet and low.
- Margaret Elizabeth Sangster, American writer(1838–1912)
- Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!”
- Robin Williams(1951–2014)
- Bluebirds are a sign of spring; warm weather and gentle south breezes theybring.
- One swallow does not make aspring.
- In spring, no one thinks of the snow that fell lastyear.
- When the dandelions bloom early in spring, there will be a short season. When they bloom late, expect a drysummer.
- Don’t say that spring has come until you can put your foot on ninedaisies.
Learn More About the First Days ofSeasons
The First Days of the Seasonsare marked by four astronomicalevents:
- The Spring/VernalEquinox
- The SummerSolstice
- The Fall/AutumnalEquinox
- The WinterSolstice
Look around! Observe! What are the signs of spring in your region? Please share in the commentsbelow!
What is spring equinox answer? ›
Equinox is the position of the Earth on 21st March and 23rd September. Both the hemispheres experience equal days and nights. - On 21st March in the Northern hemisphere, this position is spring equinox. Autumn equinox is in the Southern hemisphere.Is the equinox the first day of spring? ›
When Is the First Day of Spring 2023? In 2023, the March equinox happens on March 20, at 5:24 P.M. EDT. This falls on a Monday and is the astronomical beginning of the spring season in the Northern Hemisphere and the autumn season in the Southern Hemisphere.What happens during the spring equinox? ›
During the spring (or vernal) equinox, the sun's direct rays strike Earth's equator before crossing into the Northern Hemisphere. While it's the first day of spring in North America, Europe and Asia, places in the Southern Hemisphere are marking the end of summer and beginning of autumn.What is equinox questions and answers? ›
On 21st March and September 23rd, direct rays of the sun fall on the equator. At this position, neither of the poles is tilted towards the sun. Therefore, the entire earth experiences equal days and equal nights. This phenomenon is called an equinox.What is spring short answer? ›
Spring is a transition season between the winter and summer seasons. The days get longer and nights get shorter, the temperatures are milder, and flowers bloom. There is a warm wind in the spring season in the air. Spring typically begins in March and usually lasts until May or June.What is first day of spring called? ›
The first day of spring is Monday, March 20, 2023, at 5:24 p.m. EDT. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, this was marked by the arrival of the Vernal Equinox (otherwise known as the “First Point of Aries“).When exactly does spring start? ›
Spring Equinox, Northern Hemisphere (March)
This corresponds to Monday, March 20, 2023 at 21:24 UTC.
The Equinox (Vernal & Autumnal)
There are only two times of the year when the Earth's axis is tilted neither toward nor away from the sun, resulting in a "nearly" equal amount of daylight and darkness at all latitudes. These events are referred to as Equinoxes.
The Spring Equinox officially marks the end of Winter promising fresh beginnings filled with sun-kissed days, new growth, and a fruitful season. Celebrations are plentiful during this time, and the traditions are longstanding. Various countries honor the Spring Equinox in their own way based on customs and traditions.How does the equinox affect us? ›
Every six months, once in March and again in September, an equinox splits Earth's day almost in half, giving us about 12 hours of daylight and 12 of night. On September 22, 2022, the autumnal equinox will signal the coming of fall for the Northern Hemisphere.
What is spring equinox also known as? ›
The vernal equinox (also called the spring equinox) is one of the two equinoxes—the times of the year when the amount of daylight and nighttime hours are just about of equal length. The two equinoxes occur around March 20–21 and September 22–23.What does equinox literally mean? ›
The term equinox, like solstice, finds its origin in Latin with the roots aequus meaning “Equal” and nox meaning “Night.” Astronomers define the equinox as the moment the Earth's Equator on its axis passes the same plane of the Sun's equator, but its name reveals more of what we experience of these March and September ...What are three facts about an equinox? ›
- It happens twice a year. However, it only happens once a year in each hemisphere. ...
- The earth's tilt is the reason for the equinox—and the seasons. ...
- Day and night aren't technically equal on the equinox.
The term equinox means.... equal amount of day light and equal amount of night.What is equinox for Grade 3? ›
An equinox occurs when the position of the Sun is exactly over the Equator. When this happens, the hours of daylight and the hours of darkness are about equal almost everywhere on Earth. Equinoxes take place twice a year. Autumn, or fall, begins with the autumnal equinox.What are 3 facts about spring? ›
Children grow faster during the spring. Children actually grow faster in the spring than during other times of the year. Tornadoes are most common in the spring and least common in winter. Every year, allergies constitute over 17 million outpatient office visits, mostly in the spring and fall.What is spring facts for kids? ›
Spring is the season when cold winter temperatures gradually rise to the warmth of summer. Spring begins on the vernal equinox, when the hours of daylight are equal to the hours of darkness. In the Northern Hemisphere this occurs on March 20 or 21. In the Southern Hemisphere it happens September 22 or 23.What is spring summary? ›
'Spring' by Gerard Manley Hopkins describes the joys of spring against a backdrop of religious references to the Garden of Eden and sin. The poem begins with the speaker giving a fairly straightforward description of spring and the wonders it can bring. He finds the season to be cleansing and rejuvenating.What happens on the first day of spring? ›
The Spring Equinox, which is also called the Vernal or March Equinox, happens when the Sun heads north and crosses the equator line. When this happens, the Northern Hemisphere of the Earth starts to tilt more towards the Sun, which results in longer and warmer days.What does spring symbolize? ›
A Time For New Beginnings
Spring is all about new beginnings and transformations – think of it as a season that symbolizes starting fresh and starting over.
What is special about the first day of spring? ›
Spring begins on the March or vernal equinox, which is when the amount of sunshine is approximately 12 hours long. The amount of sunlight will incrementally increase until the first day of Summer. The vernal equinox marks the moment the sun crosses the celestial equator.Will spring come early in 2023? ›
The first day of spring, also known as the Spring Equinox, will be on March 20, 2023, in the Northern Hemisphere.Is April still early spring? ›
While the exact definition of a season's timing and length can differ in different areas based on local conditions, in most of the Northern Hemisphere meteorological spring is generally defined as the three months of March, April and May, with the season starting on March 1 and ending on May 31.Why is Easter after the spring equinox? ›
Why is Easter so late this year? You can thank the moon. The holiday occurs after the first full moon following the vernal equinox, which welcomes spring in the northern hemisphere. All of the celebrations leading up to Easter also change dates.What is the difference between the first day of spring vernal equinox and the first day of summer summer solstice? ›
Vernal equinox(about March 21): day and night of equal length, marking the start of spring. Summer solstice (June 20 or 21): longest day of the year, marking the start of summer. Autumnal equinox(about September 23): day and night of equal length, marking the start of autumn.Is spring equinox the same as Easter? ›
The simple standard definition of Easter is that it is the first Sunday after the full Moon that occurs on or after the spring equinox.What to do during equinox? ›
- Make a gratitude list; the equinox is a time to feel grateful for the harvest but you can also show gratitude for things in your life. Gratitude brings abundance, and so it's a great way to bring more good things into your life.
- Restore balance; especially at home. ...
- Tend a fire.
Some people are affected significantly by autumn's time change. The autumn equinox can disrupt our internal body clock, causing hypersomnia or excessive daytime sleepiness.How does equinox make you feel? ›
Our energy moves inwards, and our focus is directed to ourselves, to self-reflection, rather than facing outwards towards others and the world. This crossover point, a moment of pause, is a powerful opportunity for letting go, changing our emotional and behavioural patterns, and shifting our consciousness.Does spring equinox affect mood? ›
Myth #5: The Spring Equinox Can Alter Your Mood
This is another one of those myths based partly in truth. In actuality, the Sun moving across the equator has no real effect on emotions. But, seasonal changes can and often do play a big part in moods.
What is spring equinox simple? ›
1. the time at which the sun crosses the plane of the equator towards the relevant hemisphere, making day and night of equal length. It occurs about March 21 in the N hemisphere (Sept 23 in the S hemisphere)What is spring equinox in astrology? ›
The spring equinox also called the vernal equinox, falls on Sunday, March 20 (or Monday, March 21, depending on your location). The spring equinox is when light and dark (day and night) are equal. As a result, it's an ideal time to check in with your work/life balance.How long does spring equinox last? ›
Spring. On the vernal equinox, day and night are each approximately 12 hours long (with the actual time of equal day and night, in the Northern Hemisphere, occurring a few days before the vernal equinox). The Sun crosses the celestial equator going northward; it rises exactly due east and sets exactly due west.What is special about equinox? ›
An equinox marks the exact moment when the sun enters an imaginary line in the sky. It's a line the sun only crosses twice a year — on the spring and autumn equinoxes. Due to that solar angle, every region of our planet will experience close to 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness.What is equinox motto? ›
It's life.” Luxury fitness club Equinox offer customers more than just a place to work-out; it offers an environment where each member can pursue her unique health goals as part of a larger community. As Equinox's motto states, “It's not fitness. It's life.”What is the shortest day of the year called? ›
The winter solstice occurs in December, and in the northern hemisphere the date marks the 24-hour period with the fewest daylight hours of the year. That is why it is known as the shortest day of the year, or the longest night of the year.What is equinox spring? ›
The spring equinox is considered the start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Also known as the March equinox or vernal equinox, what it means exactly is that the sun crosses over the line of the equator. With the sun traveling north, it marks the beginning of spring.What does spring equinox mean 2022? ›
The spring equinox 2022 in the northern hemisphere is on Sunday 20 March. The spring equinox marks the first day of spring, and the precise time of the equinox will be at 3:33pm GMT. For the two hemispheres, the equinoxes are at opposites.What is the spring equinox 2022 spiritually? ›
The Astrological Meaning of the 2022 Spring Equinox
This year, Mercury, the planet of the mind, and Jupiter, the planet of fortune, opportunity, and expansion, will be meeting with one another at the same point in the sky in the mystical sign of Pisces. There has never been a better time to make some magic!
Hence, this equinox is the representation of new life and light, new beginnings, path, and seeds. As the day and the night will be equal on the 20th of March, this equinox will also be the representation of our needs for balance during this period. It will be the time of new beginnings, renewal, and growth.
Why is the spring equinox special? ›
The spring equinox, which takes place this year on March 20 at 11:33 A.M. EDT, marks the point in time when the sun sits directly over the Earth's equator as it heads northward. Both hemispheres share the sun's rays equally at the equinox, and night and day are roughly the same length.What is the first day of spring called? ›
The first day of spring is Monday, March 20, 2023, at 5:24 p.m. EDT. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, this was marked by the arrival of the Vernal Equinox (otherwise known as the “First Point of Aries“).Why is it called spring equinox? ›
So where do the words "equinox" and "solstice" come from? Both come from the Latin -- for "equal night" and "sun stand still." The first days of spring and fall are equinox days, when Earth experiences 12 hours of daylight and darkness.What does spring represent spiritually? ›
For believers, spring is a reminder that God is all about making things new. In fact, Jesus promised to make everything new one day (Revelation 21:5). In the meantime, He gives us glimpses of the coming attractions through spring.What rituals are on the spring equinox? ›
- Donate to a worthy cause. ...
- Gather with your loved ones. ...
- Make a spiritual focus point. ...
- Take to the great outdoors. ...
- Do some proper candle magic.
- Find a space outdoors if possible, or indoors with a window open to let in the fresh air.
- Create an altar with flowers, nature items, or ethically farmed flowers and herbs- choose by what delights you! ...
- Inner Compass. ...
- Sit in quiet reflection.
What does Spring symbolize in the Bible? In the Bible, Spring symbolizes a time of renewal and new beginnings. The ground is parched – desperate for the rainfall to quench its thirst. We can relate this to how we are refreshed by the love and grace we receive from God.Who is the God of the spring equinox? ›
Ostara celebrates the spring equinox. The word Ostara comes from the Anglo-Saxon goddess name, Eostre. Eostre represented spring and new beginnings.What does the first day of spring symbolize? ›
The vernal equinox marks the start of spring when the day and night are the same lengths. This is a time for new beginnings, birth, and fresh starts. While the summer and winter solstices mark the longest and shortest days of the year, equinoxes happen in between when the day and night are equal.