The perplexing and bursting mystery of the spring equinox is almost upon us! This natural event has fascinated humans for centuries, and it’s no wonder why. The combination of complex astronomical calculations and the rebirth of nature make for an intriguing topic. In this article, we will delve into the technicalities of the spring equinox and the cultural significance it holds.

When Does Spring 2023 Technically Start?

As we await the start of the new season, we can’t help but wonder, when does Spring 2023 technically start? Hold onto your hats because it will officially start at 5:24 p.m. Eastern time on March 20, Monday. During this time, the sun moves directly over the Earth’s equator, bringing almost equal minutes of daylight and darkness around the world. Some people call this moment the spring equinox, while others refer to it as the March equinox or the vernal equinox. The naming conventions alone can be confusing, but it’s a wonder to witness this phenomenon.

Why is it Called the Spring Equinox?

To understand why this momentous occasion is called the spring equinox, we need to go back to its Latin roots. The word “equinox” comes from two Latin words, “equi,” which means equal, and “nox,” which means night. This refers to the fact that during this time, the duration of daylight and nighttime are roughly equal. The other name for the spring equinox is the vernal equinox, which comes from the word “vernal” that translates to new and fresh. This is an apt name for the time when nature comes back to life after a long, cold winter.

Does Spring Always Start on the Same Day?

If you think that the first day of spring always falls on the same day every year, then think again. The spring equinox does not occur on the same day every year. However, it always falls on one of three days in the northern hemisphere, which are March 19, March 20, or March 21. In most years, the first day of spring falls on March 20, but it arrived on March 19 in 2020. In 2021, it went back to March 20, and the same date repeated in 2022 and 2023. If you think you have this all figured out, be warned. The next time the spring equinox will occur on March 19 will be in 2024. The next time it will arrive on March 21 will be in 2101, 78 years from now. The complexity of these dates adds to the enigma of the spring equinox.

Why Does Spring Start on Different Dates?

“A year is not an even number of days, and neither are the seasons,” notes If you thought you had a handle on the perplexity of the spring equinox dates, then you may want to sit down for this one. Since you can’t divide 365 days into four equal quarters and have an equal number of days in every season, the first day of spring can fall on different dates. The earth’s elliptical orbit is changing its orientation relative to the sun, which causes the Earth’s axis to constantly point in a different direction. These positional changes affect the time the Earth reaches each 90-degree location in its orbit around the sun. This constant change in position makes it nearly impossible to predict the exact date of the spring equinox without complex astronomical calculations.

Spring Equinox Tied to Easter and Passover Dates

The start of spring is not only a time of renewal in nature but also in many cultures around the world. The spring equinox is tied to major religious holidays, such as Easter and Passover. Christians celebrate Easter Sunday on April 9 this year, which is the first Sunday after the first full moon of spring, Thursday, April 6. The date of Easter Sunday changes every year because it is based on the lunar cycle. Similarly, Passover starts on the evening of Wednesday, April 5, and ends on the evening of Thursday, April 13, following the Jewish calendar that is also tied to lunar cycles. The timing of these holidays after the spring equinox is a significant part of their tradition.


In conclusion, the spring equinox is a perplexing and bursting mystery that is not only fascinating but also significant in various cultures. The complexity of the date calculations, along with the rebirth of nature and the ties to religious holidays, makes this event truly unique. So, when March 20, 2023, finally arrives, we can appreciate this momentous occasion with a newfound understanding of its significance. Let’s welcome the new season with open arms and embrace the mysteries of the spring equinox.