Spring 2017: Everything you need to know about the spring vernal equinox

Egg balancing to mark spring equinox

The word equinox is derived from the Latin equi, which means equal, and nox, which means night. But now the sun is headed our way in the Northern Hemisphere, so warmer days are ahead.

This makes the New Zealand winter last 93 days and summer 89 days because the earth's orbit is slightly elliptical and the earth speeds up a bit during the southern summer. Of course, I say "astronomical spring" because in the world of meteorology, we tend to view March, April and May as the spring season, as that tends to be when weather patterns change.

It's the day warm weather fans have been waiting months for SPRING!

A chart representing the change of the seasons - the equinoxes are when the sun is directly above the equators, while the solstices are when the poles are tilted toward the sun.


Officially known as the vernal equinox, the start of Spring is one of two equinoxes to happen each year.

You may have heard that you can stand an egg on end at the moment of an equinox, particularly the vernal equinox.

The Earth's equator is on an axis tilted about 23.5 degrees relative to the sun.

Both the spring and fall equinoxes occur when the Earth is in just the right place with respect to the sun, according to NASA. So it's felt like spring nearly all winter long. "The day and night are of equal length", said Dr. Nicki Viall.

An equinox occurs twice a year, when the sun crosses the celestial equator, which is an imaginary line above the earth's equator. The festival is celebrated worldwide by the Iranian peoples, along with some other ethno-linguistic groups. That's also known as the "equilux". The three leaves of the plant were famously used by St. Patrick to demonstrate the Christian Holy Trinity, but for long before Patrick arrived in Ireland, the shamrock was sacred to the Celtic triple goddess, the Morrigan. Is there any truth to this? No!

Actually, you can perform this trick anytime if you have patience. But it's not true!

This is my favourite thing to do on this day.

Enjoy the magical vernal equinox!

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