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Vernal Equinox Occurs Today, March 20th.

Spring is in the air here in Thurles.

Exquisite Spring Narcissus ‘Carlton’ (Large-cupped Daffodils) displaying the Ukrainian colours today, on view at O’Driscolls Garden Centre here in Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

The spring equinox or vernal equinox (from the Latin ‘vernalis,’ which is derived from the Latin word for spring, ‘ver.’), this year (2022), occurs on today, March 20th, marking the first day of the ‘astronomical spring‘, technically occurring at 3.33pm (15:33pm).

Our alternative ‘meteorological spring‘ of course fell on March 1st 2022 and will last until May 31st, with summer starting on June 1st, autumn beginning on September 1st and winter following on December 1st.

An equinox is a phenomenon which only happens twice a year; once during the spring, marking the end of winter and the beginning of spring, and once during the Autumn, latter occurring around September 23rd, in the Northern Hemisphere, thus marking the beginning of autumn.

Equinoxes were used by early civilisations to divide up their year. During the equinox, day and night is measured around the same length. The name coming from the Latin word equi (meaning ‘equal’) and nox (meaning ‘night’); marking the two points in the year when the equator is the closest part of Earth to the sun, with both the northern and southern hemispheres sharing sunlight equally.

Today’s ‘astronomical spring‘ will last until the summer solstice, which this year will occur on Tuesday 21st June.

The days, thankfully, will now begin to get longer with the nights shorter as the earth wakes up from its winter hibernation, and Tipperary can usually look forward to the promise of a little more sunshine.

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