Spring arrives this year at 5:24pm on March 20, but in many parts of the country, the mild winter has caused flowers and trees to bloom early, so many of us have seen our daffodils and and forsythia go into bloom already.
Technically, what is spring? The vernal equinox occurs when the sun is positioned exactly over the equator, making day and night an equal length. Even though it seems like spring has come early to some of us, astronomy says we have to wait until 5:24 on March 20 for it to be official.
So what’s the difference between a solstice and an equinox? The seasons change because the earth is tilted and different points on the planet get different amounts of sunlight at different times of the year. If the planet wasn’t tilted the sun would always be over the equator and there wouldn’t be any seasons.
The two solstices occur in June (the longest day), and December, (the shortest day) – the days when the sun is farthest north or south of the equator. The two equinoxes occur when the sun is exactly over the equator.
But we experience spring (la primavera) with our minds and senses, not by an astronomical chart. We look on this season as a time of rebirth, of color and growth. Did you know that learning a foreign language can grow and exercise your mind? Learning a new language is a great brain workout.