We officially leapt into spring on March 20th this year with the coming of the Spring Equinox. The season of spring is all about renewal, rebirth and the arrival of new things. But what is the Spring Equinox and how do different cultures and religions celebrate the birth of spring?
The Spring – or Vernal – Equinox takes places at exactly 4.31am UTC in the Northern Hemisphere and is astronomically significant, as it’s when the sun crosses directly over the Earth’s equator. This marks the Vernal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and Autumnal Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere. For us in the UK, it signifies when winter is over and spring finally begins!
The word Equinox means ‘equal night’ and is used in this context because the positioning of the sun over the equator makes the day and night equal in duration all across the world.
Why do we have seasons?
The year is split up into four seasons around these pivotal Equinox moments, mainly due to the 23.4-degree tilt of the Earth’s axis. This means our part of the world tends to get more of the sun’s rays in the summer months, while in the winter our position is tilted away from the sun, making days darker and nights longer (plus causing those freezing temperatures!)
Spring Celebrations & Traditions
The Spring Equinox has been recognised by various cultures for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians built the Great Sphinx so that it would point directly to the rising sun on the very day of the Spring Equinox. The Vernal Equinox was celebrated in Wiccan and Pagan cultures as Ostara and in Christian cultures as the Easter festival. In Judaism this period at the end of March is when Passover is celebrated and for Iranians the New Year, or Nawroz, begins on the Spring Equinox.
All these traditions have a few things in common: they are all about renewal and rebirth. It’s a time when new flowers, crops, plants and animals blossom, making the UK a beautiful place to live. In Scotland, we see daffodils, snowdrops, bluebells and primroses fill the countryside and our days start to get a little warmer, making it the perfect place for a spring walk.
Spring at DoubleTree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro
Enjoy spring in style with our Spring Prosecco Break at DoubleTree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro. Stay for two nights midweek and get a room, limitless breakfast and dinner in The Kailyard by Nick Nairn, plus a bottle of prosecco on arrival from only £99 per night. Renew and revitalise yourself this spring with a relaxing room, delicious dining and beautiful Perthshire countryside all around you. What could be better?