A sprinkling of surprising Spring facts

Now that Spring has sprung in the Thumb, it’s time to share some vernal info!

Spring’s first day is the vernal equinox (“spring (season) equal night” in Latin). It is always March 19, 20 or 21, different dates because a year (the time it takes Earth to orbit the Sun) is 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds. Only the spring and fall equinoxes have 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness, sunrise due east and sunset due west.

 

Party time! Some Springtime holidays include:

  • April Fool’s Day (April 1)
  • Easter (first Sunday after full moon following vernal equinox)
  • Earth Day (April 22)
  • Arbor Day (April 27)
  • Cinco De Mayo (May 5)
  • Mother’s Day (May 13)
  • Father’s Day (June 17)

Fun Facts About Spring

Return of spring in Greek mythology is caused by the return of Demeter’s daughter Persephone, plant and fertility goddess and personification of spring, from the 9-month Underworld custody of Hades, her abductor and husband.

In the spring is when most relationships end.

Nowadays we call the season “Spring” but this name has changed from “Lent” in Old English until the 1500’s, to “Springing Time”, for the springing of plants from the ground, to “Spring-Time” by the 1600’s to just “Spring” by the mid-1700’s.

Great Sphinx

Great Sphinx constructed by early Egyptians pointing precisely at sunrise on the vernal equinox.

There has been a call to re-name the “Vernal Equinox” to the “March Equinox”, to avoid a verbal bias towards the Northern Hemisphere.

Incredibly, animals, including humans, grow measurably quicker in the spring compared to the other seasons.

Mars, God of War

Mars, Roman god of war gives us the name of the month March, when spring begins. In the Julian calendar of Roman times, March was both the first month of the year and the last, as the year changed on the Vernal Equinox.

Episodes of “spring fever” are real physiological and psychological conditions, frequently occurring near the vernal equinox. The experiences of daydreaming, lack of concentration and heightened libido may be the result of more daylight, more exercise, and more exposed skin.

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