BUCKHANNON — Sunday marked the first official day of spring for 2022. In the Northern Hemisphere, spring is also referred to as the March equinox, vernal or spring equinox. According to dictionary.com, equinox is defined as the time or date, twice each year, at which the sun crosses the celestial equator, when day and night are of approximately equal length.
With the start of the spring equinox, the Earth tilts towards the sun, providing more daylight with earlier dawns and later sunsets. As temperatures increase and the soil grows warmer dormant plants and flowers will begin to flourish and hibernating animals will return to normal activity. According to livescience.com, “One of the first signs that spring has sprung are the presence of tree buds. A plant’s buds act as a shield for the delicate flowers inside. Flowers of different shapes, sizes and forms come with individual and distinct protection. Throughout winter these buds remain closed and dormant, surviving the cold until their time comes to thrive in the spring, making a vibrant emergence from their compact casing.” Other signs of spring include seeing an increase of wildlife, such as birds, squirrels, rabbits and other animals. Many animals reproduce in the spring as temperatures increase and food is more plentiful.
Spring is also believed to be a mood booster. This is believed to be due to being able to go outside; absorbing some natural sunshine is beneficial to a person’s health. Sunlight helps the body produce Vitamin D. “A 2005 study from the University of Michigan linked spending 30 minutes or more outside in warm, sunny spring weather to higher mood and better memory,” as stated on mentalfloss.com.
The boost in mood often leads to “spring cleaning.” Since the air is fresh and warm, many people choose to do the usual spring-cleaning duties. Many people choose to clean windows and perform tasks that are not often performed on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. One of these cleaning tasks is often to clean out refrigerators and pantries. When cleaning, if some canned and other non-perishable food has not expired, instead of tossing it out consider donating it to one of Buckhannon’s many Blessing Boxes or the Upshur County Parish House.
1800flowers.com provided a list of some interesting spring facts which are listed below.
• The first day of spring is known as the vernal equinox. In Latin, the word vernal means “spring” and equinox means “equal night.”
• The Latin word for “season” is sationem, meaning “seed time.”
• Spring was formerly referred to as lent, which was changed to springtime around the 1300s, and eventually was shortened to spring. Spring is derived from the time of year when plants begin to grow again or spring from the Earth.
• Attention all lovebirds! We hate to say it, but we may have some bad news for you. According to a Facebook study, early spring is when couples are the most likely to break up.
• If you were to stand on the equator during either the spring or fall equinox, you would see the sun pass directly over the top of your head.
• In the North Pole, the spring equinox marks the start of six months of uninterrupted daylight.
• Whereas in the South Pole, the spring equinox marks the start of six months of darkness.
• Studies show that babies born in the spring are more likely to be night owls and optimistic.
• The reason why we have spring (and other seasons) is because of the Earth’s tilt. If the Earth was perfectly perpendicular to the sun there would be no change in seasons or hours of daylight.
• The reason why Easter changes every year is that it falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon of the spring equinox.
• Usually, the earliest spring flowers to bloom each year are tulips, daffodils, sunflowers, primrose and lilies.
• Though the spring equinox isn’t typically until March 20 or 21, most Americans believe that spring unofficially begins on March 1.
• In Japan, they believe spring begins once their national flower, the cherry blossom, starts to bloom.
• In Sicily, women travel to the garden of Adonis at the start of each spring. While there, they plant seeds and decorate the garden with a blue and crimson ribbon.
• Years ago, it became a popular myth that you could balance an egg on its head during the spring equinox. Unfortunately, it’s just a myth.
• In China, they celebrate the start of spring and the Chinese New Year at the same time because they follow a lunar calendar.
• “Spring fever” may be a real (and good) thing! Scientists believe that longer days cause people to be more active, creative and happy.
• In literary works, spring is often used to represent birth, a revival, and the start of happy and better times.
• Although baby birds are born with the ability to sing, they usually don’t learn how to until spring, when they hear other birds chirping while looking for a mate.
• This year’s Daylight Savings Time happens on Sunday, March 13, meaning we’ll “spring forward” one hour that day.
• Spring holidays include Good Friday, Easter, Passover, April Fool’s Day, Earth Day, Arbor Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Cinco De Mayo and Holi (festival of colors in India).