First day of spring: record heat, egg-balancing lore and fun facts
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
It’s the first day of spring. What, you say? It was still winter? Who knew? With temperatures in the 70s for several days in a row and record heat on tap for today, you may have forgotten that winter wasn’t officially over.
Here are a few facts and tips to get the season started off right.
Time of arrival: Spring was here long before you got up this morning. The vernal equinox occurred at 1:14 a.m. today, when the sun crossed the celestial equator. That’s an imaginary line in the sky above the actual equator.
Record heat: It’s going to be a really warm one in the Ann Arbor area. The high today is expected to be 81. That’s 6 degrees above the record of 75 for this date, set in 1921. It would also be a record for the earliest day above 80 degrees. That was set in 1938 on March 22. The high Monday was 77, tying the record set in 1921. Records were broken this year on March 14, March 16 and March 17. Wednesday is likely to be another record-breaker, with a high of 83 expected.
Egg balancing lore and other vernal equinox myths: Despite the persistence of a myth to the contrary, the vernal equinox is no more conducive to balancing an egg on one end than any other day of the year. The same goes for brooms.
Perhaps even more shocking is this fact. The hours of daylight and night are not exactly equal. True equality of daylight and night hours always falls before the actual equinox, National Geographic reports.
Rituals: Around the world, people have come up with some novel ways to celebrate the arrival of spring. A 2010 article from National Geographic notes a few: people parading on stilts in Warsaw, Poland; tourists basking in spring's first light at the Pyramid of the Sun in Mexico's ancient city of Teotihuacan; Kurds parading with torches in Iraq.
Ways to celebrate in Ann Arbor: Check out the spring equinox celebration at Crazy Wisdom Bookstore or the display of spring bulbs and flowers at Matthaei Botanical Gardens or try making this tasty asparagus dish from AnnArbor.com contributor Mary Bilyeu. What food could be more appropriate on the first day of spring than asparagus?