Vernal Equinox: Earliest Spring In 120 Years Begins On Sunday, March 20

Posted: Mar 17 2016, 5:59am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
Vernal Equinox: Earliest Spring in 120 Years Begins on Sunday, March 20
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  • A Brief Guide to the Vernal Equinox

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A brief introductory guide to the vernal equinox will lend an insight into the dawn of spring when the days and nights are about equal in duration.

Spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere on March 20th in 2016. This vernal or Spring equinox is termed the autumn equinox in the Southern Hemisphere.

During this period, the sun crosses the equator. This phenomenon is called an equinox since it is a time when night and day are of equal length. Both are 12 hours in duration. However, in reality there is a slight difference between day and night and they are not exactly 12 hours each.

There are also solstices to match the equinoxes. During solstices (which are summer and winter) the patterns are opposite to the equinoxes (spring and autumn).

The dates of both are hardly fixed. In January, the sun is at its perihelion (closest) and in July it is at its aphelion (most distant).

Meanwhile, the earth is always tilted at an angle towards the sun in its orbit around its nearest star. The equinox occurs on the dot around the entire global village. In 2016, it will be at 4:30 am (GMT), reports Earth and Sky.

Spring festivals mark the equinox such as Easter and Passover. The arrival of cherry blossoms in Japan happens round about this time of the year.

The beautiful pink petals drift from the black boughs of the cherry trees onto the ground in the land that gave us sushi and sashimi. The Hindu festival of Holi also falls around this period of the year.

The riot of colors that are smeared on each other in powdered form by the men, women and children of India are proof of the fun-filled spirit of this tradition.

On the other hand, Easter is a time when many college students in the United States go to frolic on the sunny beaches. They also hold wild parties during this season.

There are several lamb recipes for Easter that get made and everyone enjoys eating them. The Easter Bunny and Easter Eggs are other traditions associated with the event that falls towards the end of March.

Both rabbits and hares are associated with Easter since they are fertility symbols having to do with rebirth and regeneration.

The children really enjoy the season since as the legend goes, the Easter Bunnies hide eggs, sweets and toys in baskets for them. This bears an uncanny resemblance to Santa Claus leaving behind gifts in stockings on the occasion of Christmas.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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