What is the spring equinox?

Posted on: 03-20-2019 20:10:14

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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?

dateIt actually changes but it’s always around the end of March — either the 19th, 20th or 21st. In 2019, the spring equinox falls on March 20th.

Check out how they celebrate the spring equinox around the world

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

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 clear flower beds and 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 grownup to help you plant seeds in a pot of soil. Water it and make sure it gets lots of sun!

Picture books about spring

book coverSorting Through Spring 
Lizann Flatt, illustrated by Ashley Barron
Ages: 4-8

What if animals and plants knew math? Would birds balance in two plus two on a branch? Numbers, patterns and shapes can be found by just looking at everyday plants and animals.


book coverWhen Spring Comes
Kevin Henkes, illustrated by Laura Dronzek
Ages: 4-8

What happens when spring finally comes? Snowbanks shrink and baby birds are born. From bare branches to green buds and leaves.

book coverAnd Then It’s Spring
Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Erin E. Stead
Ages: 4-8.

Sick of winter, a boy and his dog decide to plant a garden so they can finally see green again. They dig, they plant, they play and they wait.