43 Stirring Facts about Spring

By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published January 10, 2017
  • The first day of spring is called the vernal equinox. The term vernal is Latin for “spring” and equinox is Latin for “equal night.”[13]
  • According to a Facebook study, couples are most likely to break up in the spring and two weeks before Christmas. The lowest breakup time was Christmas Day and from August through October.[11]
  • The fall and spring equinoxes are the only two times during the year when the sun rises due east and sets due west.[13]
  • On the first day of spring, a person at the North Pole would see the sun skimming across the horizon, beginning six months of uninterrupted daylight. A person at the South Pole would see the sun skimming across the horizon, signaling the start of six months of darkness.[13]
  • Spring almost always arrives on March 20 or 21, but sometimes on the 19th. The reason the equinoxes and solstices don’t always come on the same day is that Earth doesn’t circle the sun in exactly 365 days.[8]
  • If Pope Gregory XIII would not have established the Gregorian calendar, which most of the world now observes, in 1582, then every 128 years the vernal equinox would have come a full calendar day earlier, eventually putting Easter in midwinter.[8]
  • Spring babies are at a greater risk of developing several ills
  • While springtime brings flowers and warmer weather, it may be the worst time for human babies to be born. A large-scale study found that babies born in the spring are more likely to develop schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, and anorexia.[5]
  • The first day of spring in the Southern Hemisphere is the first day of fall in the Northern Hemisphere.[9]
  • Holidays that occur in spring include 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).[10]
  • One long-term study found that, at least in the Colorado Rocky Mountain region, spring begins, on average, about three weeks earlier than it did in the 1970s.[8]
  • If Earth rotated on an axis perpendicular to the plane of its orbit around the sun rather than on a 23.4º tilt, there would be no variation in day lengths and no variation in seasons.m[13]
  • The first day of spring marks the beginning of Nowruz (“The New Day”), which is the Persian New Year. The celebration lasts 13 days and is rooted in the 3,000-year-old tradition of Zoroastrianism. It is celebrated in Iran, the North Caucasus, Kurdish parts of Turkey and Northern Iraq, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and other scattered populations in Central Asia.[10]
  • Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox.[13]
  • The first spring flowers are typically lilacs, irises, lilies, tulips, daffodils, and dandelions.[9]
  • She turned to the sunlight /And shook her yellow head / And whispered to her neighbor / 'Winter is dead.'

    - A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young

  • There is a growing movement to call the vernal (spring) equinox the March Equinox or Northward Equinox to avoid “Northern Hemisphere bias.”[13]
  • While the spring equinox typically occurs on March 20 or 21, meteorological spring begins on March 1, a month when average temperatures increase by 10 degrees over the month.[13]
  • At Chichen Itza, Mexico, the Mayan celebrate the first day of spring with “The Return of the Sun Serpent.” On the evening on the spring equinox, the setting sun creates a triangular shadow on the El Castillo pyramid that looks like a descending snake, or the feather serpent god Kukulkan.[10]
  • The myth that it is possible to balance an egg on its end on the spring equinox is just that: a myth. Trying to balance an oval-shaped object on its end is no easier on the spring equinox than on any other day.[13]
  • While some people prefer not to feed birds in spring and summer, during the spring migration, a feeder might be a useful source of food for traveling birds.[9]
  • During the spring migration, a feeder might be a useful source of food for traveling birds
  • The onset of menopause is significantly higher in winter than in spring or autumn, with a smaller peak in summer.[4]
  • In China, the coming of spring coincides with celebrations for the Chinese New Year. The holiday falls on the first day of the first lunar month, in January or February.[10]
  • According to tradition, if a groundhog does not see his shadow after emerging from his burrow on Groundhog Day (February 2), spring will come early; if he sees his shadow, winter will last for 6 more weeks. The day has its roots in the Neolithic Celtic festival of Imbolc, which marks a seasonal turning point and also involved animal prognostication.[10]
  • For the Japanese, the opening of the cherry blossom, Japan’s national flower, in March or April signals the start of spring.[10]
  • The term “spring fever” refers to a both psychological and physiological symptoms associated with the arrival of spring, including restlessness, daydreaming, and increased sexual appetite. While the exact cause is unclear, scientists believe that increased light, more exercise, and more bare skin influence hormone levels.[4]
  • Hades carrying the goddess of spring, Persephone, to the underworld
  • According to Greek myth, the return of spring coincides with the return of Persephone, the daughter of Demeter, who is the goddess of plants and fertility.[10]
  • In the Southern Hemisphere, springtime lasts from August until November.[13]
  • During the spring, birds are more vocal as they sing to attract mates and warn away rivals.[9]
  • The word “season” is from the Latin sationem meaning “sowing” or “seed time.”[9]
  • While December is the most popular time to get engaged, late spring (June) and fall (September) are the most popular months to get married.[10]
  • According to the National Association of Realtors, spring is the most popular season to sell/buy a house. Buyers are usually hesitant to move during the winter when the weather is colder and kids are in school. So, while there are lots of houses to choose from in the spring, property prices are at their highest then.[2]
  • Studies show that there is regular seasonal variation in sperm quality. Specifically, sperm concentration was highest in the spring and lowest in the autumn.[3]
  • A “spring tide” has nothing to do with the season of spring. Rather, it connotes a “springing forth.” Spring tides happen twice each lunar month all year long, regardless of the season.[9]
  • Children actually grow faster in the spring than during other times of the year.[9]
  • The early Egyptians built the Great Sphinx so that it points directly toward the rising sun on the spring equinox.[10]
  • The Great Sphinx aligns with the spring equinox
  • Studies show that suicide rates peak during the late spring and not during the holidays, as is commonly believed.[7]
  • A National Academy of Sciences study found that babies conceived in the spring are more likely to be premature. Scientists hypothesize that their mothers were nearing full term in January and February when seasonal flu cases spike—and pregnant women who contract the flu in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters have a slightly increased risk of premature labor.[6]
  • Multiple sclerosis relapses are more likely to occur during the spring and are least common in the fall.[5]
  • Tornadoes are most common in the spring and least common in winter.[11]
  • Every year, allergies constitute over 17 million outpatient office visits, mostly in the spring and fall.[1]
  • Some Baltic and Slavic countries burn an effigy of winter as a way to welcome spring
  • Every year on the first day of spring, people in Poland gather to burn an effigy and throw it in the river to bid winter farewell.[10]
  • While the term “spring” is useful to describe one of the four conventional temperate seasons, in subtropical and tropical climates, other terms are used to describe varying seasonal changes, such as dry or wet and monsoonal or cyclonic.[10]
  • Honeybees are more likely to swarm during the spring. They swarm as a way to start new colonies from successful ones. Surprisingly, swarming honeybees are very docile and the most friendly they will ever be all year.[12]
  • The U.S. spring season is culturally interpreted to be the day after President’s Day, which is the Tuesday after the third Monday in February, and ending on the Friday before Memorial weekend.[10]
References

1Allergy Facts and Figures.” Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.” 2014. Accessed: December 17, 2014.

2Apple, Ben. “Best Season to Buy a Home.” Realtor. 2014. Accessed: December 17, 2014.

3Deng, Boer. “A Time to Be Born.” Slate. April 28, 2014. Accessed: December 17, 2014.

4Fischer, Maryanne, PhD. “Love’s Evolver: Sex in the Springtime.” Psychology Today. May 6, 2011. Accessed: December 17, 2014.

5Laurance, Jeremy. “People Born in Spring Are “More Likely’ to Become Anorexic.” The Independent. April 28, 2011. Accessed: December 17, 2014.

6O’Connor, Anahad. “Really? Babies Conceived in the Spring Are More Likely to Be Premature.” The New York Times. July 15, 2013. Accessed: December 17, 2014.

7Palmer, Brian. “The Season of Renewal and Suicide.” Slate. December 7, 2012. Accessed: December 17, 2014.

8Roach, John. “First Day of Spring Facts: Is It Arriving Earlier?National Geographic. March 20, 2014. Accessed: December 17, 2014.

9Schmidt, Gary and Susan M. Felch, eds. Spring: A Spiritual Biography of the Season. Woodstock, VT: SkyLight Paths Publishings, 2006.

10Spring Celebrations. Chicago, IL: World Book, Inc., 2003.

11Van Camp, Jeffry. “Couples Are Most Likely to Break Up before Christmas, Facebook Graph Shows.” Digital Trends. November 3, 2010. Accessed: December 17, 2014.

12Von Mogel, Karl Haro. “Springtime Is for Swarms.” Biology Fortified. June 20, 2012. Accessed: December 17, 2014.

13Younger, Shannon. “Happy First Day of Spring! Facts about the Vernal Equinox.” ChicagoNow. March 20, 2014. Accessed: December 17, 2014.

Suggested for you

Prev
Next

Fast Fact

Trending Now

Load More
>