Vernal Equinox Facts

Vernal Equinox Facts
The vernal equinox is the moment that the sun crosses the equator from south to north, in March. It is reversed in the autumnal equinox which happens in September. The equinox is the only time when the edge between day and night runs perpendicular to the equator, equally illuminating both the southern hemisphere and northern hemisphere. This is the origin of the name equinox, which is derived from Latin words meaning 'equal' and 'night'. Like the solstices, the equinoxes are related to the seasons. The vernal equinox marks the beginning of spring in many places around the world, in the northern hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere this marks the beginning of autumn. In the Persian calendar it marks the New Year.
Interesting Vernal Equinox Facts:
The vernal equinox marks the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere, but in the southern hemisphere it marks the beginning of autumn. This reverses in September.
When the vernal equinox is occurring in the northern hemisphere those in the southern hemisphere refer to it as the autumnal equinox.
The vernal equinox in the northern hemisphere marks the time when the sunrise begins to occur earlier and night comes later. This is the time when plants begin to sprout and days become warmer.
Following the vernal equinox those in the northern hemisphere begin to experience the sun's rays more directly. This is because the earth is tilted on its axis at 23.4 degrees.
If the earth rotated perpendicular to the Earth's plane of orbit around the sun instead of on its tilted axis, the length of day and temperatures would remain the same around the world and nobody would experience seasons.
The vernal equinox has been recognized for thousands of years and many rituals and traditions have developed in different cultures to celebrate the arrival of spring.
In Christianity the celebration of Easter always falls the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox.
The Great Sphinx built by the ancient Egyptians was built to point directly at the rising sun on the vernal equinox.
Nowruz if the Persian New Year and it is celebrated for 13 days, with the first day of celebration following on the vernal equinox.
During the equinoxes night and day are equally as long around the world.
The vernal equinox usually happens on March 19th, 20th, or 21st of each year, marking spring in the northern hemisphere. This date marks the autumnal equinox in the southern hemisphere.
The vernal equinox occurs at exactly the same time around the world no matter where one is located.
At the moment of the vernal or autumnal equinox the earth is not tiled toward or away from the sun, as it is the rest of the time.
Japan celebrates the arrival of spring following the vernal equinox with the Cherry Blossom Forecast.
In the Hindi faith the festival of Holi is celebrated as the vernal equinox arrives. This is an ancient religious festival celebrated in India, Nepal, and in some places in the U.K. as well. Participants throw color, in the form of dyed water or colored dry powder, on each other and the festival is meant to signify good defeating evil.
In the United States spring is celebrated with parties such as spring break, when students flock to beaches to party while taking a break from school.

Related Links:
Earth Systems Facts
Animals Facts