No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow. - Proverb from Guinea

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Spring: The Season of Renewed Life

Spring begins on the vernal equinox. This is the point at which the sun is directly over the equator. The northern hemisphere is beginning to get more sun than the southern hemisphere. Traditionally, the vernal equinox is on the 21st of March. However, the date will be earlier in the coming centuries (20th, and even the 19th) due to the vagaries of the Gregorian calendar coupled with the slightly changing orbit of the Earth around the sun.

A Tree in Spring

Because of the lopsided nature of the Earth's orbit, it being elliptical rather than circular (the Earth is slightly closer to the sun in the northern hemisphere's winter months), the seasons are not all the same length. Spring is more than 92 1/2 days.1

Spring is most often thought of as occurring during March, April, and May in the northern hemisphere - September, October, and November in the southern hemisphere. It is considered to be the time of renewal, rebirth, and reawakening. This is also where this season got its name, as it does reflect a "springing" up of plants2.

Easter always falls during the spring as is determined by a procedure promulgated by the church. (It is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox.) Passover also occurs during the spring. This is an eight-day commemoration of the flight of the Jews from Egypt. May Day and Cinco de Mayo are celebrated at this time.

Much has been made of spring. It has been written about at length in poetry, with no less than the bard himself, William Shakespeare, penning a poem on spring. The great American poet, Robert Frost, wrote "A Prayer in Spring" which seems to call out to the reader to sit up and take notice of the beauty presented by this season3. The novel, "The Fires of Spring" by James Michener plays on the tumultuous image of growth that beginning life evokes4.

Next Page: Summer

  1. Why Has Date Changed for Start of Spring?
  2. Definition of Spring
  3. A Prayer In Spring, by Robert Frost
  4. The Fires of Spring, by James Michener at Amazon