Happy Spring! This is the earliest spring in our lifetime! You see it all stems from that tricky date of February 29th or as it is also called, Leap Day. Did you ever notice that the spring equinox used to be on the 21st? Well this year in our central time zone, the equinox will begin on March 19th at
11:30 PM, the earliest since 1896!
Do you know what the word equinox means? It is a Latin word meaning "equal night." On this day all over the world, days and nights are approximately equal. So what that means is if the sun rises in the East at 7 AM, then it will set approximately in the West at 7 PM. Equal hours of day and night!
Typically equinoxes happen on the 21st (except for the fall one, which is September 23rd). Spring equinoxes happen earlier and earlier as the century goes on. We can't let that continue to happen, so typically leap years are skipped at the beginning of a new century. Check a calendar from 1700, 1800 and 1900 and you won't see a leap day on them. This helps push back a day on the calendar for equinoxes. But in 2000, that didn't happen; we had a leap day. For some time now, spring has begun on the 20th. Well it will be happening on the 19th now for the rest of the century.
There is some fun folklore about the spring equinox. It claims that you can stand a raw egg on its end on the day of the equinox. Several editors of the Farmer's Almanac tried this trick a few minutes before the vernal equinox. For a full workday 19 out of 24 eggs stayed standing. Sounds like something you might like to try, huh? Let me know how it works!
If you want to find out more about the spring equinox, check out our catalog for some interesting titles. You can also track how the daylight gets longer by using the Sun Rise and Set Calculator.
So enjoy the increasing daylight! I know I will.
Spring Picture books
Spring Nonfiction Books