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5 Spring Equinox Myths Debunked

Balance a broom? Stand an egg on end? We separate fact from fiction when it comes to the moment that marks the spring season. How many of these do you believe?

We mark the beginning of the new season with the arrival of the spring equinox! Regardless of what the weather is doing outside, this is the exact moment of the official start of spring. And perhaps because this marks the gateway to the growing season, there are a lot of myths and beliefs surrounding it. We dive into the 5 most common myths associated with the Spring Equinox and separate fact from fiction. How many of these do you believe?

Myth #1: You Can Stand a Raw Egg on End

March Equinox - Equinox

According to this myth, the Sun’s position in the sky (and presumably its gravitational pull on the Earth) means that you can stand an egg up on end during the precise moment of the vernal equinox. But this is something you can try to do any day of the year—provided you have the patience to spend lots of time trying to balance eggs! Equinoxes won’t make it any easier to accomplish this feat.

Myth #2: The Vernal Equinox Makes it Easier to Balance Everything

a large broom for street cleaning stands at the concrete wall on the asphalt

This is similar to the egg myth. Some believe that the Sun’s gravitational pull on the Earth during the equinox makes it easier to balance objects like brooms. But, as with the myth about balancing eggs, the Sun’s gravitational pull doesn’t affect any balancing act you’re trying to pull off. Whether you’re balancing a broom, building a house of cards, or standing an egg on its end, the task will be just as tough on the equinox as any other day of the year.

Myth #3: You Won’t Have A Noontime Shadow

shadow of a person casted on a orange wall

Technically, this myth is kind of true. But conditions have to be incredibly precise for this to happen. It’s all about being the right place at the right time. Since the Sun is always at an angle to you, you always cast a shadow. In order to not cast a shadow, the Sun needs to be directly overhead. Because the Sun is situated over the equator at the equinox, you’d have to be standing at the equator precisely at noon on the day of the equinox for this to happen.

Myth #4: The Equinox Is A Day-Long Event

Clock - Wall Clock

An equinox doesn’t take all day—it’s only a moment in time! The true equinox an exact moment in which the Sun passes over the equator—blink and you’ll miss it. For 2020, the Vernal Equinox happens on Thursday, March 19, 2020, at 11:50 p.m. EDT.

Myth #5: The Spring Equinox Can Alter Your Mood

Stock photography - Egg

This is another one of those myths based partly in truth. In actuality, the Sun moving across the equator has no real effect on emotions. But, seasonal changes can and often do play a big part in moods. So while the moment of the vernal equinox itself isn’t responsible for changes in your emotions, it’s likely that around this time of year you’re experiencing at least a little bit of spring fever, or leftover effects of the winter’s shorter days (SADD).

While you’re free to try to balance eggs and brooms on the equinox, just remember that the equinox’s significance centers around the Sun’s position relative to the equator. It’s the astronomical start of spring which means longer days for those of us in the northern hemisphere. 

Amber Kanuckel is a freelance writer from rural Ohio who loves all things outdoors. She specializes in home, garden, environmental and green living topics. Her article on woolly worm caterpillar folklore appears in the 2020 Farmers' Almanac.

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Joanne Hazard

An egg will stand on its end, I did this at a call center I worked at and it stood for several hours until some bumped the table it was on.

Carol Garrison

This is NOT a myth and really does work. You must stand the egg on it’s end at the exact moment of the vernal equinox and support it with your hands. At the precise moment, you will feel the pull of the egg to stand tall and can then remove your hands. It will stand there on it’s own. It stood tall for about a minute for us and then fell on it’s side. I suggest taking photos for the “nay-sayers+. Younger people may not have the patience to persist, but if you take your time, it will work for you!

Marilyn Godfrey

It is NOT a myth that you can stand an egg on its end at the premise moment of the equinox. I am 75, and have taught school practically all of my life. I have done this experiment many times with children, at school and at home. It works! In fact two years ago I was in a kindergarten class, when we tried and tried to get the egg to stay up. At that precise moment it stood, all alone. The kids were so impressed. Since the egg continued to stand, after five or six minutes the kids got up and returned to their seats. I took one of their child sized chairs and put it over the egg. We checked on it, frequently. When the parents came to get their children, they were given the egg tour. The next morning we were greeted by our egg, still standing tall. In fact it was the third morning when the custodian greeted us, telling us the egg was no longer standing. So if you are a bit patient…try it this evening.

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