Friday, 20 March 2009

What Day Does Spring Start?

Well according to tradition spring starts on the night of 20/21 March. However the Meteorological Office classes the first day of spring as 1 March and a bit of a row has erupted now over the official date.

Some disgruntled MPs are questioning who has had the authority to change the date. Stuart Bell, Labour MP for Middlesbrough says:

"Spring starts on March 20/21 and if the Met Office are not aware of this simple fact, it reflects a casual approach to facts, which is all too inherent today."

“Historically spring starts on the day of the vernal equinox, which usually occurs on the night of 20/21 March. Vernal comes originally from the Latin word for bloom and refers to the fact that, in the northern hemisphere, this equinox marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring.

An equinox is a time when the nights are as long as the days and the vernal equinox is recognised the world over as the start of the new astrological cycle.

But does that necessarily make it the start of spring? After all, summer is commonly decreed to start on 21 June - the Summer Solstice - yet the following day is known as MID-summer's day.

And since when has the prevailing weather had anything to do with it? Parts of the country may be ankle-deep in snow but cast your mind back three months and the talk was why, in mid-December, the weather felt like spring.

The Met Office, meanwhile, has little time for celestial patterns and historical precedent. It picked 1 March for simplicity's sake, choosing to slot the four seasons neatly into the 12 months... June, July and August are the summer months; September, October and November autumn, and so on.“

Mmmm, a very pragmatic approach!

Extract from BBC website


  1. Hi Winifred,

    Hmmmmmm! March 1 to June 1, Spring, etc. Well, yes, that would be a pragmatic approach! But I guess we're stuck with what we have, and today is the first day of Spring! lol. And it was a beautiful first day of spring in my corner of the planet, and I'm happy with that. How about you? How was your first day of spring? lol.

    Have a great weekend!

    Spring huggies,


  2. Hi Winifred,

    I always look forward to March 20/21, that was always the first day of spring for me and it always will be. I had a beautiful first day of spring in my little corner of the world today, a little cool, but nevertheless, it was beautiful and sunny and fun to be out and about. I spend some of my first spring day reading "Jeeves and the Ties That Binds" I should finish it this week-end.

    Enjoy your week-end and a Spring hug to you from across the ocean! ;)


  3. I just love your most intelligent spring solstice.

  4. Well, hello from france and Spring certainly sprung a week ago here! Our forsythia Blossomed 2 weeks ago and one day last week it reach 21°, and that is mid France not the south. All I know is that it's great wakening to the birds twittering excitedly and the male Ducks parading to the females , and today, best of all, It's my man's Birthday, yes he was born on the first ( official) day of Spring!

  5. Well, whenever it is I love it! Spring always feels like a new beginning for me. Much more so than New Years Day. Happy Spring Day!

  6. 21 March for me Winifred and 21st of June, September and December for the other seasons too. A x

  7. I kind of go with the meteorological dudes... and then summer is June July August. Etc!

  8. My calendar said it was March 20th, but I always thought it was the 21st. But either way, it's apparently here now. Happy week-end.

  9. My calendar says March 20th is the first day of spring. I have a friend who celebrates her birthday March 21st and she insists spring starts on her birthday. I wont argue with her. Here in Maine both March 20 and 21st were both very spring like. I noticed buds on my high bush cranberries while hanging my bird feeders up this afternoon so I know spring is here.
    Thank you God!

  10. I am just glad it finally arrived, period! This is my favorite time of the year...Spring! Everything seems to come to life at this time. Just makes me feel good inside today to know that the sweltering sauna heat won't be far behind now! LOL

    ((( HUGS )))

  11. Gday Winifred, Thank you for your kind words on the loss of my friend...
    Well our spring starts Ist september.. were know in Autumn as of the 1st of March..and still having Temps in the low 30sc today was 34c= about 93f..

  12. Thanks for stopping by! Once I saw that bear dancing, I got that song stuck in my head for two days!

  13. Spring starts when the daffodils are up and waving at me.

  14. I think I will go with March 20 for the first day of Spring. We had some warm weather and now winter is back with some snow expected on Friday and Saturday! I just say crap to that!!


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