Welcome the Spring with a Vernal Equinox celebration. The spring equinox is on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, at 5:58 P.M. EDT — 21:58 UTC, and marks the first official day of spring in the northern hemisphere. The southern hemisphere welcomes the fall at the EXACT same date and time. Learn what the autumnal and vernal equinox is, and how to celebrate the spring with 15 spring equinox celebration ideas.
The spring equinox is also called the vernal equinox and has long been celebrated as a time of renewal and rebirth.
Many cultures celebrate spring festivals and holidays–like Easter and Passover–around the equinox. As an example, Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon that falls after the March Equinox.
Many people believe that ancient spring solstice celebrations have influenced the Easter Traditions that we celebrate today.
Related: Winter Solstice Celebration Ideas
Related: How to Make a Spring Easter Tree
What is the Equinox?
The equinox is when the sun crosses over the equator. On the exact moment of the equinox the sun shines directly on the equator before continuing its journey northwards or southwards depending on the time of year.
On the spring equinox the sun passes over the equator and continues northwards, on the autumnal equinox the sun crosses over the equator and continues its its southward declination.
The word Equinox is derived from Latin, which means “equal night.” When the sun passes over the equator on the equinox, the length of day and night are said to be approximately equal. This means that there will be approximately 12 daylight hours and 12 hours of darkness on both the vernal equinox and the autumnal equinox.
Related: Summer Solstice Celebration Ideas
When is the Equinox?
As mentioned above, there are two equinoxes every year. One equinox occurs in March while the other falls in the month of September.
When is the Spring Equinox?
In the northern hemisphere the spring equinox occurs in March, while the autumnal equinox is celebrated in September. These are reversed in the southern hemisphere.
In the southern hemisphere the spring equinox happens in September, while the the autumnal equinox falls in March. (Pun intended–lol!)
Even though the date and time of each equinox changes slightly each year, the spring vernal equinox and fall autumnal equinox always occur at the same exact date and time all over the world. The season you welcome depends on the side of the equator that you live on!
This means that the southern hemisphere celebrates the autumnal equinox on the same date and time that the northern hemisphere celebrates the spring equinox and vice versa.
What Day is the Equinox in 2019?
In 2019, the autumnal and spring equinox will happen on Wednesday, March 20, at 5:58 P.M. EDT or 21:58 UTC. (Source)
What is the spring equinox?
The spring equinox is when the Sun crosses the celestial equator and moves northwards from the equator at 23.5 South. The spring equinox marks the first official day of spring in both the northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere.
When is the Spring Equinox?
The spring equinox typically falls between March 20 – 22 in the northern hemisphere and most often occurs between September 21 – 23 in the Southern hemisphere. On rare occasions the equinox can happen just outside of those date ranges.
This year the spring equinox will happen on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, at 5:58 P.M. EDT — 21:58 UTC in the northern hemisphere.
In the southern hemisphere the spring equinox is on Monday September 23, 2019 at 3:50 A.M. EDT — 07:50 UTC
If you are curious about when the equinox will be next year… Find out HERE!
What is the vernal equinox?
The vernal equinox is the spring equinox. The spring vernal equinox is the moment that the sun passes over the celestial equator on its journey towards its northernmost declination. You can also call the spring equinox the March equinox if you live in the northern hemisphere and the September equinox if you live in the southern hemisphere.
Related: Winter Solstice Celebration Ideas
How to Celebrate the Spring Equinox
Below you will find 15 fun spring equinox celebration ideas. Some of these suggestions are individual ways to celebrate while others can be done with family and friends. Create something meaningful for you and your family and you can’t go wrong.
The spring equinox has been celebrated as a time of renewal and rebirth for thousands of years. To learn more about the signs of spring’s arrival and what to look for in the natural world, check out Search for Signs of Spring Scavenger Hunt.
15 Spring Vernal Equinox Celebration Ideas
If you live in the Southern Hemisphere and are welcoming the fall try these ways to celebrate the fall autumnal equinox!
1. Get Outside & Connect
Take some time to celebrate the new life that surrounds you in nature. Watch the sunrise and/or sunset, go for a walk in the park, take a bike ride, lay in the grass, or take a hike. As you do so, observe all the new life beginning around you.
For more outside activities check out Get Outside & Connect.
2. Plant New Life
This is a good time of year to start planting your flowers and gardens if you haven’t already. If you live in an area where it is still not possible to plant anything, you can start some plants indoors or get your yard and garden ready for late spring plantings.
3. Visit a Megalithic Monument
This may not be possible for many of us but the idea of it sure is fun! Stonehenge is open to visitors on the winter and summer solstices and spring and autumn equinoxes.
4. Bring Spring into your Home
- Pick or purchase a bouquet of spring flowers or make a bouquet of felt flowers.
- Refresh and renew your home and body with essential oils. There is nothing like an essential oil diffuser to bring the fresh scents of spring into the home.
5. Prepare a Family Feast
No spring celebration is really complete without a family meal to go along with it. For the solstice, celebrate with foods that honor the coming of spring — eggs, early spring greens, shoots, sprouts, seasonal local produce, local bread, wine, etc.
Spend some time with your family shopping at your local farmers market or produce stand to collect local spring food to prepare for your spring feast!
6. Have or Attend a Bonfire
A bonfire is a great way to celebrate the equinox. Tell stories, dance, sing, beat drums, play music, and celebrate the spring.
Please be safe and follow city or county laws and regulations. For more information see 10 Tips for a Safe Bonfire with Kids.
7. Enjoy Spring Arts, Crafts, and STEAM Activities
Another spring craft you can make with the kids is this gorgeous Four Season Handprint and Fingerprint Tree! Feel free to do all seasons or just a spring tree.
8. Decorate Eggs
Another fun egg decorating idea is creating watercolor surprise egg art… click on the link to download our FREE printable egg template!
Related: How to COLOR brown eggs
9. Add Spring Decor to your Home
Decorate your home with DIY spring home decor. We like to set up and decorate a spring Easter tree on the equinox and keep it up until Easter Sunday.
10. Stand an Egg on its End
Legend says that you can stand an egg on its end during the spring equinox. I have never tried this, and I’m pretty sure it’s hogwash… but it sounds fun!
You can convince your guests to attempt it as a party prank while waiting for your spring solstice family feast!
11. Meditate and/or Practice Yoga
Meditate upon new spring life, and celebrate the change of seasons. On the equinox, day and night, dark and light are balanced. Meditate and/or practice yoga to create inner peace and balance.
12. Read Books about Spring
Read spring books with your kids to help them understand the equinox and the cyclical nature of the seasons. For a short and sweet list, click over to have a look at Spring Books for Kids.
13. Restore Balance in the Home
Restore balance in the home by doing a spring deep cleaning. Get rid of clutter and anything that you no longer need to make space for the new season.
Related: How to Make Natural Cleaning Products.
14. Begin Something New
Solstices and equinoxes are a great time of year to let go of the old and begin fresh. As the days begin to grow longer and the temperatures begin to warm, people begin to spend more and more time outdoors. It is a great time to begin something new.
- Make a list of everything you’ve been wanting to do.
- Pick your top three choices.
- Make a plan to start one and go from there. Hop over to read How to Make SMART Goals and Creating Positive Habits to get started today!
15. Establish a Daily Routine or Rhythm
Spring is typically a time of renewal and rebirth. Establishing a new daily routine or rhythm can help ease transitions, increase productivity, and provide a framework for your daily-do’s.
Children also thrive on rhythms in the home. Head over to read How to Plan Your Daily Routine and Weekly Rhythm to learn more about the power of routine in the home.
Related: Easter Art Ideas Kids LOVE!
Fun Ways to Celebrate the Spring Vernal Equinox
We hope that you enjoyed learning more about the equinox and fun ways to celebrate the first day of spring. Don’t forget to check out fun Easter traditions and our spring bucket list for even more seasonal fun. Inside, you can find our favorite spring activities, arts, and crafts!
Learn more about Rhythms of Play click HERE!
Learn more about the Equinox and Solstice
The One Essential Tool You Need To Keep You and the Kids Happy!
Subscribe to the Rhythms of Play community newsletter to connect with your children, and find the FREEDOM to do the things you LOVE!
Nell has over 20 years of experience working with children and is the founder of Rhythms of Play. She believes in the wonder of childhood, the power of the imagination, learning through play, and getting outside in all seasons! Learn more…