When’s the “Real” First Day of Spring

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The Great Debate, let’s finally get to the bottom of it!

When do you think the first day of Spring is? March 19, 20 and 21 are all marked on someone’s calendar as the “First Day of Spring.” How is it that the first day of Spring is on three different days? The argument has been ongoing for as long as I can remember. I’ve even been a part of it myself. “The first day of Spring is March 20,” I always said. That’s what the calendars around me have always said. Plus, March 20 is my cousin’s birthday and having her birthday on the first day of spring always made her feel special. So, I just went with it. Then came a calendar that made me question my beliefs, the calendar verified March 21 as the “First Day of Spring.” I was shocked.

So far this year on the calendar, I’ve only seen March 20 marked as Spring’s big arrival. I’ve been looking for calendars that prove otherwise, but no luck. That’s when I had to get serious and do the research. I then found out there is not only a March 20 and 21, spring first day, but there’s also a March 19 too. According to Catherine Beckman, the first day of spring depends on the vernal equinox. What is the vernal equinox you say? I had the same exact question. The vernal is the spring, the equinox is the tricky part. Equinox is the day the sun is directly above the equator, which only happens twice a year: March and September (Britannica Encyclopedia). Now how does that work you ask? It’s crazy, I asked the same thing. The March and September vernal equinox solely depend on the hemisphere you’re in. “The astronomical definition of seasons says vernal equinox commences the first day of spring” (Britannica Encyclopedia).  It becomes a little more complicated when you want to know about all of the seasons’ beginnings.

Who would have known to get to the bottom of this debate you had to research so much about science? We should be happy to know that we’re all right. The “First Day of Spring” is March 20, March 21 and also March 19 (although I’ve never seen a calendar stating that). I’m happy to announce, the great debate is over!



Rockila Young is a senior studying professional writing with a concentration on editing and publishing and a passion for creative writing. She one day wishes to be a published novelist and chief of editing. While having a passion for writing, she loves children and is currently working in childcare. You can follow her on Instagram @r.o.c.k.i.e


Tags: first day, March, spring