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What is the spring equinox?


Image by armennano from Pixabay

The spring equinox is the first day of spring — astronomically speaking, that is!

It’s also a day where there is almost 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness because the sun is passing directly over the equator. It’s also called the vernal equinox.

Since daytime is measured from the time any part of the sun is visible over the horizon to when the last part of the sun has set, there's actually a little bit more than 12 hours of light.

What does the word equinox mean?

illustration showing a tree in a field where half is in sunlight and half is in nighttime

Equinox comes from the Latin words for equal (aequus) and night (nox) because the day and night were thought to be equal in all parts of the world on this day. After that, we begin to get longer and sunnier days.

When is the spring equinox?

It actually changes but it’s always around the end of March — either the 19th, 20th or 21st. In 2021, the spring equinox falls on March 20th.

The old equinox egg trick

colourful eggs

There is an old story that says that on the spring equinox, you can stand a raw egg upright instead of on its side.

Why not try it and see if it's true?

4 things you can do to celebrate the spring equinox:

hands holding a seedling

Image by Myriams-Fotos from Pixabay

  1. Go for a walk and see if you find signs of spring! Look for buds on the trees and flowers starting to poke through the ground. Are the birds flying back yet?
  2. If you have a front yard or backyard, spring is the perfect time to clean up any trash that has made its way into the yard. If you don’t have a yard, maybe you can hit the sidewalk or your local park.
  3. If you don’t see any flowers coming up, you can create your own! Draw some with crayons or markers. Cut them out of coloured paper. Make some out of plasticine. Be creative!
  4. Since spring is finally coming, the equinox is a great time to plant something. Get a grown-up to help you plant seeds in a pot of soil. Water it and make sure it gets lots of sun!

Check out how they celebrate the spring equinox around the world