Spring Is Here! The History Behind the First Day of Spring

by Lindsay Shapka in ,

The official First Day of Spring aka Vernal Equinox has finally arrived! And well I wish my reality was this...


It is in fact this... (note that this evening I can expect some delightful freezing rain and then later, snow... great... )


What is it that makes today the First Day of Spring, you ask? 

Well, it turns out that today (and on the first day of Fall in September), the earth is pointed neither away nor owards the sun but right beside it. In other words, the center of the sun is located in the same plane as the earth's equator. What this means to us here on earth, is that our night and day are relatively the same length (Equinox translates to 'equal night'). 

According to space.com, this day also marks the beginning of the astronomical year, and from now until the summer solstice on June 21, the days will gradually get longer and the weather warmer (it couldn't come fast enough for me!).

he existence of an equinox has been known by various civilizations for centuries. Often considered to be a time of organic, spiritual rebirth, this day was once celebrated in Europe with the Germanic festival of Ostara — the fertile Earth Goddess. Christians celebrate Easter on the Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox, Egyptians built the Great Sphinx to point directly toward the rising sun on the first day of Spring, this day marks the beginning of Nowruz or The Persian New Year, and Stonehenge is essentially an equinox calendar.

All I know is that if it gets me closer to sunshine, sandals and the colour reen it's a day to celebrate! Happy Spring!