Spring Equinox 2020: When The Vernal Equinox Is Happening, And How It's Celebrated

- Mar 20, 2020-

Stonehenge hosts the most famous UK spring equinox celebrations In the UK, with druids and pagans gathering annually to watch dawn break (Photo: Getty Images)

Stonehenge hosts the most famous UK spring equinox celebrations In the UK, with druids and pagans gathering annually to watch dawn break (Photo: Getty Images)

Stonehenge hosts the most famous UK spring equinox celebrations In the UK, with druids and pagans gathering annually to watch dawn break (Photo: Getty Images)

For many people spring is already here, but for others it's yet to arrive - that's because what is considered the first day of each season depends on whether you are using the meteorological or astronomical definition.

As the Met Office explains, astronomical seasons "refer to the position of Earth's orbit in relation to the sun," while meteorological seasons, which coincide with the calendar we use in the West today, are "based on the annual temperature cycle".

The meteorological is the simpler of the two, because it splits the year into four seasons of three full months, making it easier to compare seasonal and monthly statistics.

This means that every year spring begins on 1 March and lasts until 31 May, with summer then lasting from 1 June until 30 August and so on.

The astronomincal definition is a little more complex, as it relies upon the positioning of the equinoxes and solstices dictated by the Earth's orbit - here's how it works.

When is the spring equinox?

The astronomical equinox happens twice a year, around 20 March in spring (also known as the vernal equinox), and, for autumn, around 20 September. The precise timings vary slightly year to year, but in 2020, the spring equinox is happening on Friday 20 March, at precisely 3.49am GMT.

An equinox is the moment the Earth's equator passes directly through the centre of the sun, lining up in unison as the world gradually turns.


To the druids, here celebrating at Stonehenge, the spring Equinox celebrates the renewed life of the Earth that comes with spring(Photo: Getty Images)

To the druids, here celebrating at Stonehenge, the spring Equinox celebrates the renewed life of the Earth that comes with spring(Photo: Getty Images)
To the druids, here celebrating at Stonehenge, the spring Equinox celebrates the renewed life of the Earth that comes with spring(Photo: Getty Images)

How the equinox is celebrated

As the spring equinox happens, both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres share the sun's rays equally, and night and day are, for 24 hours, roughly the same length. Equinox is derived from the Latin aequus, which means equal, and nox, the term for night.

Equinoxes are about more than astrology. Their summer and winter counterparts, the solstices, winter and summer, are perhaps more widely understood to be about ancient ritualistic tradition and celebration. But the spring equinox has meaning beyond the mechanisms of the solar system too.

Early civilisations found the spring equinox to be a reliable way to keep track of the seasons. And cultures today pay tribute as their ancestors used to.

In the UK, Stonehenge is the most famous meeting point for druids and pagans, who gather annually to watch dawn break. There is dancing and song and clothing you would not find in M&S.

Gatherings happen around the world. At El Castillo in Mexico, the site of the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, people watch the sun create snake-like shadows on the pyramid steps. Similar events take place at Mayan temples across central America.


cozy electric fireplace

At Zhongshan Sunshine Electrical Appliance Tech Co., Ltd. we celebrate it by gathering with our love ones around the cozy electric fireplace and enjoy the warmth while watching the sun rise.




Source: https://inews.co.uk/light-relief/offbeat/spring-equinox-2020-when-date-vernal-first-day-how-celebrations-2502610