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What Is Vernal Equinox – Myths & Tales About The Onset Of Spring

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What is vernal equinox? Does the March equinox mark the beginning of the spring season in both the Hemispheres or only in the Northern Hemisphere? What happens in the Southern Hemisphere? The vernal equinox, also known as march equinox, is the onset of the spring season in the Northern Hemisphere and marks the beginning of the autumnal equinox in the Southern Hemisphere. This section will answer all your questions! Read the piece below to know more about some of the interesting facts and myths on the spring equinox! 

The word vernal equinox, also known as the spring equinox, originates from two Latin words, “aequus” meaning equal, and “nox” meaning night, which literally means equal night! But, do we get to experience equal day and night during the equinox? Well, to understand this fact let us focus a little more on the topic of the vernal equinox! 

vernal equinox 2022

What Is Vernal Equinox – Events And Dates 

The vernal equinox, also popularly known as the spring equinox, takes place when the Sun is just above the earth’s equator, on its way from South towards the North! During this time, the Sun is just above the celestial equator, thus, during this time of the year, around the globe, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west! 

The March equinox marks the unfolding of the spring season, the season of colors and new beginnings in the Northern Hemisphere. On the contrary, it brings with itself the fall season or Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere.

After the equinox, the Northern Hemisphere experiences more daylight and hot weather, whereas the Southern Hemisphere gets to experience more night hours and colder temperatures! In 2022, the equinox falls on 20th March, 11: 33 am EDT. But, as people around the world live in varying time zones, they will experience the event on different dates ranging from 19th March to 21st March! 

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Do We Really Experience Equal Days And Nights? 

Although it is popularly believed by the masses that on the day of the vernal equinox, the day and night have equal time periods, it is not entirely, but partially true. The time period is nearly equal between the days and nights. But it is not exactly 12 hours of the day and 12 hours of the night! There are generally more daylight hours than nighttime, because the sun is a disk, and the day is not completely over until the sun entirely sinks down West! 

Additionally, the earth’s atmosphere refracts or bends sunlight! Being a denser medium relative to the space or vacuum, it changes the path of the sunlight. Thus, we can see sunlight several minutes after the setting of the Sun, making the days and nights unequal! 

The Controversy Around The Meteorological And The Astronomical Calendar 

vernal equinox 2022

From time immemorial, there has been a controversy around what is vernal equinox in reality! Does it follow the meteorological calendar or the astronomical calendar? Well, the answer is both! Meteorologists divide seasons on the basis of the temperature differences and not on the relative position of the Sun in respect to the Earth. Thus, according to meteorologists, the equinox falls on 1st March.

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On the other hand, according to astronomers, the first day of spring falls between 19-21st March each year, when the Sun is just above the Earth’s equator.

Myths And Tales 

myths about vernal equinox

Many myths and legends have developed in relation to the equinox! Some say that one can balance the egg on its end during the occurrence of equinox!

The people of Mayan Civilisation even built a pyramid to honor the return of the Sun Serpent or the Snake of Sunlight! When the rays of sunlight fall on the pyramid, it looks as if a snake is crawling down the Pyramid! 

Conclusion 

Spring is the season of love, colors, and new beginnings of hope and faith! We hope that this article, ”What is vernal equinox“ will help you in increasing the horizon of your knowledge! Happy spring season to all of you! 

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