Vernal Equinox marks the start of Spring


Camerin Thrweatt

Trees in bloom at the onset of spring at Clover Hill.

On Mar. 20, the Vernal Equinox occurred in the northern hemisphere, marking the beginning of spring. An equinox is a two-time yearly event that is widely unknown, compared to other space events like a lunar eclipse and a solar eclipse.

What is an equinox? An equinox marks the start of the fall and spring for the different hemispheres. During the Vernal Equinox, the sun crosses directly across the celestial equator and can be seen from the earth’s equator and the northern hemisphere. 

In addition, the equinox makes the day and night equal in length during the time of the event. The equinox lasts about 12 hours and starts with the Aries constellation slowly moving toward the Aquarius constellation, going through the Pisces constellation along the way.

The equinox is celebrated in Chinese and Vietnamese culture as the Moon Festival. On Sep. 15, both Chinese and Vietnamese individuals in their respective countries gather to serve autumn harvests and treats. Some treats include Lotus Mooncakes with Salted Egg Yolk, Shanghai Savory Mooncake, Shadow Skin Mooncake and the most popular Sweet Red Bean Mooncake. 

Along with enjoying mooncakes, Chinese and Vietnamese individuals light lanterns and gaze upon what is believed to be the fullest, purest moon of the year. However, usually, this event occurs closer to the second equinox of the year, the Southern Hemisphere equinox.

Marking the start of spring in the northern hemisphere, people living in this hemisphere can now go back to spending time outside and enjoying some fresh air without the cold temperatures. Spring allows one to breathe better air, receive vitamin D from the shining sun feel energized and relieved from much internal stress. 

Now that the spring equinox has occurred, it is a great time to mark down health care appointments and take care of oneself to improve one’s overall health. For those in the southern hemisphere, the second equinox arrives Sep. 22.