Spring is considered to be the first of the four seasons and is often associated with flowers blooming, animals coming out of hibernation, and nice sunny weather that is in stark contrast to winter, the previous season. The spring equinox in the year 2018 is on March 20 (Tuesday), while the equinox will also happen on March 20 in 2019 and 2020 as well.
Culturally and historically, spring was important for our ancestors, and they used to track the pathway of the sun and determine the length of days to predict the coming of this season, and such historical structures as Stonehenge were used to mark the sun’s movement, which indicated when spring would come.
Nowadays, of course, you can check the daily sunset and sunrise times online.
When Does Spring Begin?
The time of spring is officially marked by the spring equinox, a term that is derived from the Latin words aequus (equal) and nox (night). The spring equinox in the year 2018 is on March 20 (Tuesday), while the equinox will also happen on March 20 in 2019 and 2020 as well.
The spring equinox means that with the lengthening days due to earlier sunrises and later sunsets, there is more sunlight. This is because the tilt of the Earth means that both hemispheres receive the sun’s rays equally at this time of year.
Are the Spring Equinox and the First Day of Spring the Same?
It depends on how you’re looking at the concept. From an astronomical standpoint, spring in the northern hemisphere does begin around the spring equinox. From a meteorological perspective, however, the first day of spring is marked as March 1 because scientists who study the weather divide the calendar year into quarters. As opposed to their astronomical counterparts, meteorologists follow the seasons based on changes in temperature rather than the position of the sun relative to the Earth. While this discrepancy can cause some statistical problems, the fact that “spring” starts on different dates doesn’t really pose much of a problem to most people.
Signs of Spring in Nature
To most people, spring is not measured according to the sun as much as it is experienced in their immediate surroundings. This is the time of the year when they start to feel the sun’s rays warm their skin after the cold season and when nature starts to renew itself. Plants look alive, flowers begin to bloom, animals come out of hibernation, and birds can be heard chirping in the trees.
Even the environment becomes more active. Spring is also the time when the weather can act up, bringing about spring rains, windy days, and even floods. Of course, this doesn’t stop spring’s overall warm vibe from inviting people to shed their coats, come out, and enjoy the outdoors. This is also the time when homeowners start tidying their own surroundings, hence the term “spring cleaning.”
So, figure out what you’ll be planting in your backyard and start enjoying the sunny days of spring!