It’s coming up to that time of year,
When winter’s passed and summer’s so near!
What exactly does Spring Equinox mean?
Our guide will help teach all, child, adult and teen!
What is Spring Equinox?
The Spring Equinox marks the astronomical start of spring in the UK. This year it falls on Wednesday 20th March 2019. We can almost feel the warmth of summer already!
What does equinox mean?
There are two equinoxes a year, one in springtime and one in autumn. At these two times of the year, the amount of daylight we get is equal to the amount of nighttime we get. The word equinox comes from two Latin words equi meaning ‘equal’ and nox meaning ‘night’. The moment when day and night are of exactly the same length occurs a few days before the spring equinox.
How is it different to the solstice?
The solstice also occurs twice a year, in summer and winter. However, the solstices are when the hemispheres experience their longest and shortest times of daylight of the year. In the Northern Hemisphere, the summer solstice occurs in June and we have our longest day of the year, with the shortest amount of nighttime.
So does spring start on 20th March?
Well, there are actually two dates that mark the start of spring. Monday 1st March will mark the first day of the meteorological spring, which is based on the annual temperature cycle and also the calendar. Wednesday 20th March will mark the astronomical start of spring, which is based on the position of Earth’s orbit in relation to the Sun. Either way, spring is here which means summer isn’t too far away! Remember though, the clocks don’t go forward until 1am on 31st March 2019.
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