18 Fast Facts About the Spring Equinox

The spring equinox is much more than just a date on the calendar.

Seasons can be defined in several different ways. The astronomical definition is based on the equinoxes and solstices, and spring begins with the spring equinox or vernal equinox.

In the Northern Hemisphere, it is the equinox in March; south of the equator, it's the September equinox.

With the spring equinox, we welcome the first day of spring. To celebrate the spring equinox, here are key facts about the event.


1. The spring equinox is also known as the vernal equinox since the term "vernal" comes from the Latin word vernalis, an adjective relating to spring.

2. While the word "equinox" means "equal night," the day and night during the equinox aren't exactly equal.
The point when days and nights are truly equal is the equilux ("equal light"), which actually happens before the spring equinox.

3. The spring equinox isn't a day but a singular point in time!
For example, in the UTC time zone, the spring equinox for 2024 was on March 20 at 3:06 am.

4. The spring equinox usually occurs on March 20 to 21 in the Northern Hemisphere.
However, different countries experience this phenomenon earlier than the usual dates due to differences in time zones.

5. Countries located in the Southern Hemisphere (such as Australia, Brazil, and New Zealand) experience the spring equinox around September 22 to 23.

6. In astrology, the spring equinox marks the start of the Aries season.

7. In spiritual terms, it signifies an opportunity for personal growth and transformation.

8. According to spiritualists and crystal healers, certain crystals are ideal to use during the spring equinox.
Some examples are sunstone and chrysocolla. The former is about amplifying self-worth, while the latter is more about letting go of the past.

9. A full moon often happens a few days (or even weeks) after the spring equinox.
But, in 2019, a rare occurrence happened as the full moon appeared only a few hours after it!

10. Legend has it that eggs are easier to balance during the spring equinox due to the Earth's positioning in relation to the Sun. This is why egg-balancing games are often played around March 20 to 21!
While it is possible to balance an egg, the trick has nothing to do with the equinox: You can make an egg stand on its end by setting it on a rough surface any day of the year.
Speaking of eggs, Zenica, a city in Bosnia and Herzegovina, celebrates the spring equinox by cooking thousands of dishes of cimbur (basically scrambled eggs with onions). They refer to this day as Cimburijada or the "Festival of Scrambled Eggs."

11. In China, the spring equinox is known as Chunfen, the fourth of the Country's 24 solar terms.

12. Some modern-day druids and pagans in England celebrate the spring equinox, or Ostara as they call it, by making a pilgrimage to watch the sunrise at Stonehenge.

13. There's a public holiday in Japan called Shunbun no Hi, or Vernal Equinox Day, which started in 1948.
Whether it's celebrated on the 20th or 21st of March is decided in February of the previous year according to astronomical calculations.

14. Nowruz, also known as the Persian New Year, is celebrated on the spring equinox.
It lasts for 13 days and is based on the Hijri Calendar. Some examples of countries that celebrate this new year are Iran, Afghanistan, India, and Turkey.

15. Hindu countries, such as India and Nepal, celebrate Holi, which often takes place on the day of the first full moon before the spring equinox.

16. Christians celebrate Easter, one of their most significant religious holidays, on the first Sunday after the occurrence of a full moon after the spring equinox – it can happen between March 22 and April 25!
In the year 325, the Council of Nicaea decided that Easter would be held on the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox.

17. Saturn also has an equinox every spring and autumn, but since seasons on the ringed planet are a bit more, you know, languid, the wait between equinoxes is notable.
Saturn's equinoxes occur around every 15 Earth years; the next one will take place on May 6, 2025.
In 2009, NASA's robotic spacecraft Cassini captured an image of a spring equinox on Saturn.

18. Chichén Itzá, Mexico's iconic Mayan ruins, has a pyramid called Kukulkan that shows a fascinating display of light and shadow resembling a descending snake on the pyramid steps during the spring (and autumn) equinox!

The spring equinox isn't just the start of a new season.

It's a magical time, and both the body and spirit rejoice with the increase in sunlight and a wakening world.

For many people, it's also a time of new beginnings!

The Planetary Society / Dictionary / Wikipedia - Spring / Wikipedia - Vernal Equinox / Well and Good / Spirituality Health / WTOP News / Wikipedia - Chunfen / Wikipedia - Nowruz / Country Living / Britannica / NASA - Sun and Moon / Slow North / Time and Date / Dictionary / Vagrants of the World / SoulKu / NASA - Rite of Spring / ABC7 / N1 / National Geographic / Wikipedia - First point of Aries / The Fact Site