Why Spring Begins On Different Days Each Year

Our hibiscus bloomed just as the vernal equinox began. Happy spring, our season of renewal. 

Spring begins on different days each year, March 19, 20 or 21, when the sun crosses the celestial equator. That’s the imaginary line in the sky above the equator that goes from north to south. This year the spring, or vernal equinox began on March 20 in the Northern Hemisphere. It doesn’t happen on the same day every year because of the way the earth orbits the sun. On the equinox, the earth orbits perpendicular to the sun’s rays. It usually just tilts toward the sun.

But spring doesn’t burst out all over the world at the same time. When the north celebrates the season, the southern hemisphere marks the autumnal, or fall, equinox. 

The word equinox comes from the Latin and means equal day and equal night. It’s a slight misnomer, though, because we don’t exactly get 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night. 

Whatever the length of a day of sun, enjoy. 



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Barbara Nevins Taylor

As the winner of 22 Emmy Awards and a slew of journalism honors and awards, I created ConsumerMojo.com to give you the straight story about complicated stuff. Tell us what you want to know and we'll get you the answers.