in Just-
spring          when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman
whistles          far          and wee

So begins one of E.E. Cummings’ poems about spring, [in just]. His description is very spring-like in feel – more so than saying that the equinox that occurs today means the Sun is vertically above a point on the Equator.

It happens twice a year, spring and fall, when the tilt of the Earth’s axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun, and  this equilibrium is why the ancients took the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night) for its name. The night and day are approximately equal in length at these events and it happens around March 20/21 and September 22/23 each year.

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it’s
when the world is puddle-wonderful

The equinox is a moment in time, but most people think of it as the day as in marking the start of spring, in the way that we mark the change to summer and winter at the solstices.

Our little planet takes a year to circle the Sun and spins like a top on that invisible axis.  According to folklore, you can stand a raw egg on its end on the equinox. Try  a few yourself. You can do it.

Like the imaginary axis line, the equator line divides Earth into the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and the seasons are the opposite in the two halves.

The traditional East Asian calendars divide a year into 24 solar terms, so the equinoxes then mark the middle of the spring and autumn seasons. 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.

balloonMan          whistles