Spring will be here when the day’s hours are equal with the night’s

When+things+are+in+perfect+balance%2C+you+know+it+is+Spring.

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When things are in perfect balance, you know it is Spring.

Abril Tellez Tamayo, Staff writer

The word equinox comes from Latin, which means “equality of night and day.” The equinox occurs at two specific moments in time, when the sun is directly above the equator in spring and in autumn. This year’s Spring Equinox is happening on Thursday, March 19 in the northern hemisphere at 8:55 pm.

A Greek astronomer and mathematician called Hipparchus discovered precession of the equinoxes in 127 BC. He was born in Nicea, Bithynia, which today is now known as Iznik, Turkey. Other than being known for equinoxes, he made “fundamental contributions to the advancement of astronomy” according to Britannica.com, “as a mathematical science and to the foundations of trigonometry.” He also wrote two books: The Geographical Fragments of Hipparchus and On Sizes and Distances.

Equinoxes and solstices are caused by Earth’s tilt on its axis and ceaseless motion in orbit and while they share similarities, they are not the same. An equinox represents a day with equal duration of day and night. A solstice alludes to the longest day of the year. See the difference?

During the equinoxes many countries have their own traditions to celebrate. In Iran, they have a festival called “No Ruz,” which really means “New Day.” It happens before the vernal (spring) Equinox. It’s a time for hope and rebirth. Mainly, a lot of cleaning is being done, old broken items are being fixed, people’s homes are being repainted and fresh flowers are being planted. It is sort of like our idea of “spring cleaning.” The Iranian New Year starts on the same day as the equinox. The people celebrate by hanging out with their family for a picnic or any other activity.

There are other interesting traditions in many countries that happen during this time of year as well.

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