Disclaimer: this post is for entertainment purposes only.
Save the Date
March 20. 2021 is the happy day of the spring or vernal equinox, in the northern hemisphere. The Southern hemisphere is having their autumnal equinox.
Since I live in the northern hemisphere we’ll focus this post on the Vernal or Spring Equinox.
What exactly is an equinox?
This is the time of year when the sun crosses the celestial equator, a fun imaginary line in the sky above the earth’s equator, from south to north.
Now the word equinox has in it the words, equal and night (nox). That is because at this point in the year the day and the night are as close to equal as they are going to get.
In duration, I mean. Roughly 12 hour days, and 12 hour nights.
I say “roughly” because the timing varies from city to city. I live in Salt Lake City, for us the exact time of the equinox will be 3:37pm MDT. However in London, England, the exact time of the equinox will be 9:37am GMT.
Interesting n’est pas?
Just for fun, y’all should write down your sunup and sundown times and your city in the comments below. Let’s check out the natural variables.
Okay, that’s fun but why two names?
Vernal or Spring. In this case both names actually mean the same thing. Vernal is a word that relates directly to spring. It implies youth, freshness, or things accomplished in the springtime. Such as new growth of grass and spring flowers, the migration of spring birds, or the equinox.
Oh our fun language, so many words, so many similar meanings. While “spring equinox” is more widely used, probably due to it also being the first day of spring. Vernal is often used in fields of study that has to do in the spring.
Since they are essentially one and the same, feel free to use either term vernal or spring equinox.
Spring Into Warm Weather!
The spring equinox is also the astronomical first day of spring. Remember how the sun crosses the celestial equator? This signifies the start of spring, aka, the start of longer days, and warmer weather.
How come, you ask?
Thanks to the earth’s axes, after the spring equinox the northern hemisphere is now tilting more towards the sun. It’s this tilt that allows for longer and warmer days.
To all you garnders out there, get ready to start your planting! I mean, if you haven’t already.
Celebrating Spring aka Time To Get Frisky!
The season of spring has been associated with beliefs in rejuvenation, rebirth, fertility, and life.
It is a beautiful time when the sleeping world awakens, birds and insects start to make more noise. Animals come out of hibernation with their young, or start having, or creating young.
And while people don’t necessarily follow the patterns of nature during this time of seeming rebirth, many cultures saw the vernal equinox as a sign of fertility or as a day of remembrance.
In Japan the day is a holiday called Shunbun no Hi, and many use the day to tend to the graves of their loved ones.
In Myan City of Chichen Itza in Mexico people will gather to watch as the equinox sends a sperant shaped shadow down the steps until it merges with a serpent head shaped statue. That’s what I call craftsmanship.
The vernal equinox’s symbol is a shamrock, and considering how close it always is to St. Patrick’s day, I think that’s just extra lucky.
I don’t know about you but when I think shamrock and spring I also think rainbow. That’s also got a lucky feel.
Speaking of luck.
Another way to celebrate the coming of spring is to dye some hard boiled eggs red and crack them together, whichever egg survives the encounter gives luck to it’s holder.
For additional egg celebration and fertility symbol info I recommend you go Here.
Start of a New Year
In many cultures the spring equinox symbolizes the start of the new year. In fact, up until the Gregorian Calendar was adopted the new year was on March 25.
Which makes way more sense. Spring gives the sense of renewal and starting fresh. Both ideas are associated with New Year’s day, but having New Years in the dead of winter just makes the winter feel so long, and spring so far away.
I’m all for switching back to spring.
However you choose to celebrate the coming of spring I pray that everyone will be safe and that this spring will see a renewal in health and family ties.