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Only 47 Days Until the First Day of Spring

January 21, 2020
By Anesa McGregor , Emmetsburg News

After this past weekend, I'm so ready for spring and it's only 47 days away!

Spring begins with the vernal equinox, which always occurs on March 19, 20, or 21. This year spring falls on Thursday, March 19 at 11:50 p.m. EDT.

The word equinox comes from two Latin words meaning "equal night." On March 19 the length of day and night are nearly equal in all parts of the world.

On the first day of spring, the sun crosses the celestial equator from south to north, so if you were standing on the equator, the sun would pass directly overhead on its way north.

While the sun passes overhead, the tilt of the Earth is zero relative to the Sun. This means that the Earth's axis neither points toward nor away from the sun. It must be noted that the Earth never orbits upright. It is always tilted on its axis by about 23.5 degrees.

Here area a couple of fun facts: 1. At the beginning of this editorial I said spring always occurs on March 19, 20, or 21. Due to time zone differences, there will not be a first Day of Spring on March 21 on the mainland of the United States during the entire 21st century. We won't see a March 21 in the world again until 2101 and 2. According to folklore, you can stand a raw egg on its end on the Equinox.

Well this is partly true. Eggs will balance on other days too. The origins of this myth are attributed to stories about the ancient Chinese creating displays of eggs standing on end during the first day of spring. It is important to note that the ancient Chinese celebrated the first day of spring about 6 weeks earlier than the equinox so it's not just the equinox itself.

Our ancestors were more connected to the sun than we are. They observed its pathway across the sky; they tracked sunrise, sunset, and day length change, using the sun (and moon) as a clock and calendar.

One of the most famous ancient spring sites of Spring Equinox celebration is at Chichen Itza, Mexico. There, a huge pyramid built by the Mayans around the year 1,000 A.D., celebrates the first day of spring with what looks like a huge snake slithering down all four sides. the Mayans called this day "the return of the Sun serpent." It is a signal of the beginning of the seasons.

Have you heard the following sayings: "Bluebirds are a sign of spring; warm weather and gentle south breezes they bring" or "In Spring, no one thinks of the snow that fell last year." My favorite is a quote by the late Robin Williams, "Spring is nature's way of saying, Let's Party."

 
 
 

 

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