The vernal equinox takes place today, March 20th. The astronomical event marks the start of spring in the northern hemisphere, which means longer days are on the way and people around the world will celebrate fresh starts.
The word “vernal” comes from the Latin word for spring, while equinox literally means “equal night” (equi means equal and nox means night) as both night and day last for an equal amount of time. This date is when day and night are around the same length, each lasting around 12 hours.
In the southern hemisphere, the opposite occurs, as autumn begins at the same time. Spring starts in September south of the equator on the same day autumn starts north of the equator.
It is an event that can be contrasted with the summer and winter solstices, which happen in June and December and also mark the beginnings of new seasons. The solstices mark the longest and shortest days of the year, which occur because the sun has reached either its highest or lowest point relative to the equator.
And if you’re spending the day trying to see if you can balance an egg on it’s end today, go ahead, you might! But that old saying is a myth. The amount of sunlight we get during the day has no power over the gravitational pull of the Earth or our abilities to balance things on it. You can balance an egg on its end any day of the year (if you’re good at balancing things).