After a long, cold winter, there’s nothing better than hearing birds chirping and being able to open up your windows to let in a breath of fresh air. Not to mention, the first sign of a warm spring day is the perfect excuse to get back outside and start enjoying all of those seasonal activities you missed so much. But before you head outdoors to start planting, taking walks, riding your bike, and all the other fun things you do during this stunning season, let’s take a look at how it got its name and what it means.
A time for new beginnings
Spring is all about new beginnings and transformations; it’s a season that symbolizes starting fresh and starting over. After months of cold temperatures that often result in many of us feeling the winter blues, spring reawakens us and our surrounding environment, bringing everything back to life. Not only will you start to see the trees budding and bulbs poking through the ground, but we bet you’ll even feel better too.
The origin of “spring”
Before spring was actually called “spring,” it was referred to as “Lent” in Old English. For those who celebrate Easter, you may already be familiar with this term, as it is refers to the period leading up to Easter Sunday. During the 14th century, the period known as “Lent” started to be called “springing time,” since this was when plants, shrubs, trees, and other greenery started springing back up from the ground. A century later this term was shortened to “spring time,” and a century after that it was shortened, you guessed it, simply “spring.”
Spring’s astronomical meaning
The period known as spring symbolizes the time between the spring equinox and the summer solstice (the time when the North Pole faces the sun at its greatest angle). A quick science lesson: Each year there are two equinoxes, days when day and night are practically equal. What we know as the spring, or vernal, equinox usually occurs sometime around March 21 for those in the Northern Hemisphere. For those in the Southern Hemisphere, the spring equinox happens around Sept. 21. Thus, our spring starts on the first day that day and night appear for almost the same amount of time, and ends when the North Pole tips toward the sun to the greatest degree possible.
Although the start of spring can make things a little difficult on our health (spring allergies, anyone?), it surely is one of the greatest times of the year. The sun is shining, flowers are blooming, temperatures are rising…it’s just what we need!