Ah yes, the equal illumination of Earth by the Sun will occur on Tuesday, March 20 at 1:14 AM EDT. It’s the vernal, or spring, equinox.

Equinox is derived from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night), because the night and day are approximately equal in length.

We experience an equinox twice a year, spring and fall, when the tilt of the Earth’s axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun which is vertically above a point on the Equator.

An equinox actually occurs at a specific moment in time, but most people refer to the day as the equinox.

So, we mark this equinox as the start of spring, but we mark the change to summer and winter at the solstices.

If you followed, a traditional East Asian calendar, then you would divide a year into 24 solar terms and the vernal equinox and the autumnal equinox mark the middle of the spring and autumn seasons, respectively.

In Japan, Vernal Equinox Day is an official national holiday, and is spent visiting family graves and holding family reunions.

Wiccans and many other Neopagans hold religious celebrations of “Ostara” on the spring equinox.

On the Old Farmer’s Almanac site, someone asks, “According to folklore, you can stand a raw egg on its end on the equinox. Is this true?”

Answer: One spring, a few minutes before the vernal equinox, several Almanac editors tried this trick. For a full workday, 17 out of 24 eggs stood standing. Three days later, we tried this trick again and found similar results. Perhaps 3 days after the equinox was still too near.

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