The Spring Equinox is symbolic of rebirth, renewal, and growth. At this time, the Sun crosses the celestial equator from south to north. It’s called the “celestial equator” because it’s an imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s Equator. In 2019, the Spring Equinox (also called the March equinox or vernal equinox) falls on Wednesday, March 20. This event marks the Astronomical first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere.
There are two equinoxes every year – in March and September – when the Sun shines directly on the equator and the length of night and day are nearly equal. The March equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator – from south to north.
The date of the equinox changes from year to year to account for the fact that the Earth doesn’t take exactly 365 days to make a complete revolution around the sun. The Gregorian calendar adds a leap day every four years to account for this, and the spring equinox date varies for the same reason.
Conventional wisdom suggests that on the equinox everybody on Earth gets to experience a day and night of equal lengths – 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night time. In fact, the name equinox is derived from the Latin words aequus, meaning equal, and nox, meaning night.
To people who live in Earth’s northern hemisphere, this astronomical event signals the arrival of spring, winter’s end, and the increasingly warm and brighter days that come with the pending arrival of summer.
The biggest difference between the equinox and the solstice is that a solstice is the point during the Earth’s orbit around the sun at which the sun is at its greatest distance from the equator, while during an equinox, it’s at the closest distance from the equator. Because of this, one solstice is an extremely long day, and the other is an extremely short day. Comparatively, during an equinox, the days and nights are equal lengths.
For those in the southern hemisphere, though, it’s now the fall: The days are growing shorter, the weather is cooling off, and sunlight is growing dimmer as winter approaches.
Celebrating the Spring Equinox
Take some time to celebrate the new life that surrounds you in nature. Watch the sunrise and/or sunset, go for a walk in the park, take a bike ride, lay in the grass, or take a hike. As you do so, observe all the new life beginning around you.
This is a good time of year to start planting your flowers and gardens if you haven’t already. If you live in an area where it is still not possible to plant anything, you can start some plants indoors or get your yard and garden ready for late spring plantings.
Spirituality and the Equinox
Spring is the perfect time to honor the growth and the pain, the light and the darkness and all the experiences that have made you who you are today. It is the perfect time to love yourself and learn to find gratitude and peace with the journey you are on.
It is the perfect time to bring acceptance to your life no matter the circumstances or the judgments over what is good and what is bad, and to instead honor the journey.
Don’t let this world make you feel not good enough. Don’t let others make you feel bad about yourself. Don’t let society tell you how things should be. Make your own way. You are stronger and smarter than you think you are. Follow your own heart. And know that when you love yourself, anything is possible.
The Equinox is a time to heal the divide. It is a time to cross that bridge between the ego you and the higher self you, and feel the connection, the strength, and the love that comes from knowing that we are One. This is also a time to heal uncomfortable feelings with people in your life. Take a chance and make the first move to mend the hurt. Embrace the wonders of Spring.