Spring Equinox 2012: Spring Starts Tuesday

Photo via Almanac.com
Photo via Almanac.com

Hello spring!

It seems as though just yesterday we were shoveling snow from our driveways, throwing snowballs and sledding down a hill in our neighborhood. Well maybe not, this winter was a mild one for sure, but as enjoyable as it is the weather is only going to get more delightful as spring is upon us.

Spring officially arrives Tuesday March 20 bringing with it increasing daylight and warming temperatures.

The Spring Equinox will take place on Tuesday at 1:14 a.m. EDT when the sun’s rays will shine directly overhead at the equator, according to the Washington Post.

The spring equinox marks the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere (the first day of fall for the Southern Hemisphere) and reportedly marks the halfway point in the annual solar chart, with the length of day and night is equal everywhere on Earth (12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness).

The spring and fall equinoxes are reportedly the only days with equal daylight and dark as the Sun crosses the celestial equator, according to Almanac.com.

Following the spring equinox is a long three month period before the summer solstice in June.

The summer solstice is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and the official beginning of summer—The summer solstice marks the brightest point of the year.

This week will also mark the celebration of Ostara. Ostara is named after a German goddess called Eostre, a fertility goddess associated with new life and is a Pagan celebration of the coming spring. Traditional celebrations include blessing and starting seeds on Ostara.