Vernal equinox: First day of Spring in northern hemisphere celebrated with Google doodle

Vernal equinox coincides with two other celestial events

Friday marks the vernal equinox – the first day of Spring in the northern hemisphere. This year, the change of seasons coincides with a solar eclipse and a supermoon in a rare celestial event.

During an equinox, the Earth’s axis is angled so that the length of the night and the length of the day are roughly equal. This occurs twice a year: on 20 March and on 22 September.

The term 'equinox' is derived from the Latin for equal (‘aequus’) and night (‘nox’).

Google has celebrated the official first day of Spring 2015 with a stop-motion animation doodle in the US showing flowers coming into bloom and a bee collecting pollen from a daffodil.

The vernal equinox is celebrated by many cultures across the world. In Belarus, women will don traditional costumes and sing songs to mark the event, while in Poland people gather to burn an effigy and throw it in a river in a symbolic gesture to winter. You can read more about the different ways the vernal equinox is observed here

The equinox will also happen at the same time as a solar eclipse in 2053 and 2072.

Google celebrated the solar eclipse in the UK with an animation of the moon passing over the sun. The UK was only treated to a partial eclipse this year, leaving many stargazers disappointed.

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