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Yorkshire Times
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Jan Harris
Assistant Editor
8:00 AM 17th March 2021
nature

Celebrate The Spring Equinox

In 2021 the spring equinox is on Saturday 20 March and marks the astronomical first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and ends on Monday 21 June.

The Vernal (Spring) Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere is the Autumnal (Fall) Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere and vice versa.

For our friends in the Southern Hemisphere this means the beginning of autumn.

There are two equinoxes every year - in September and March (spring and autumn) - when the sun shines directly on the equator and the length of day and night is nearly equal - but not quite.

There are two solstices every year (summer and winter).

The equinoxes and the solstices are days that mark the changing seasons on Earth.

With the spring equinox in the Northern Hemisphere the earth begins to tilt towards the sun which means that our days start to get longer and our nights shorter.

So this should mean the promise of warmer days and the arrival of spring.

In the Northern Hemisphere you have:

Vernal equinox (20 or 21 March) day and night of equal length - the start of spring
Summer solstice (20 or 21 June) longest day of the year – the start of summer
Autumnal equinox (22 or 23 September) day and night of equal length – the start of autumn
Winter solstice (21 or 22 December) shortest day and longest night – the start of winter


What does equinox mean?

The name comes from the Latin word equi (meaning 'equal') and nox (meaning 'night').

Why celebrate?

Different cultures celebrate the equinox, but the spring equinox has been celebrated for centuries as it represents the first day of spring when flowers begin to bloom, a symbol of rebirth, fertility and new beginnings.

AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Samuhel said:

“Spring is a transition,”

“As we come out of the cold winter toward the warm summer – it’s all based off the sun angle, which depends on the Earth’s orbit.”