Spring Equinox 2017: What Is Ostara, And When Do The Clocks Go Forward?

Today marks the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and is marked by the equinox. 

Online, the event has been marked with a Google Doodle

The spring equinox is significant because after a long and dark winter, the hours of day and night are equal for the first time this year – about 12 hours each.

Google Doodles

Google Doodles

  • 1/44 Google Doodle celebrating St. Patrick's Day

    Google Doodle celebrating St. Patrick's Day

    Google

  • 2/44 Google Doodle celebrating Holi Festival

    Google Doodle celebrating Holi Festival

    Google

  • 3/44 Google Doodle celebrating St. David's Day

    Google Doodle celebrating St. David's Day

    Google

  • 4/44 Abdul Sattar Edhi

    Google Doodle of Abdul Sattar Edhi on February 28 2017

    Google

  • 5/44 Seven earth-sized exoplanets discovered

    Google Doodle celebrates Nasa's discovery of seven earth-sized exoplanets in new solar system

    Google

  • 6/44 Bessie Coleman

    Google Doodle honours the first African American woman to get an international pilot licence on her 125th birthday

    Google

  • 7/44 Caroling

    Google Doodle celebrates Christmas caroling

    Google

  • 8/44

    Today's Google Doodle features activist Steve Biko

    Google

  • 9/44 Walter Cronkite

    Google celebrates Walter Cronkite's 100th birthday

  • 10/44 Ladislao José Biro

    Google celebrates Ladislao José Biro 117th birthday

  • 11/44 Google

    Google celebrates its 18th birthday

  • 12/44 The history of tea in Britain

    Google celebrates the 385th anniversary of tea in the UK

  • 13/44 Autumnal equinox 2016

    Google marks the start of fall

  • 14/44 Paralympics 2016

    Google marks the start of the Paralympic Games 2016

  • 15/44 Nettie Stevens

    Google celebrates Nettie Stevens 155th birthday

  • 16/44 Father's Day 2016

    Google celebrates Father's Day

  • 17/44 Elizabeth Garrett Anderson

    Google celebrates Elizabeth Garrett Anderson 180th birthday

  • 18/44 Earth Day 2016

    Google celebrates Earth Day

  • 19/44 Ravi Shankar

    Google marks Pandit Ravi Shankar's 96th birthday

  • 20/44 Olympic Games in 1896

    Google are celebrates the 120th anniversary of the modern Olympic Games in 1896

  • 21/44 World Twenty20 final

    Google celebrates the 2016 World Twenty20 cricket final between the West Indies and England with a doodle

    Google

  • 22/44 William Morris

    Google celebrates William Morris' 182 birthday with a doodle showcasing his most famous designs

    Google

  • 23/44 St Patrick's Day 2016

    Googlle celebrates St Patrick's Day on 17 March

  • 24/44 Caroline Herschel

    Google marks Caroline Herschel's 266th birthday

    Google

  • 25/44 Clara Rockmore

    Google celebrates Clara Rockmore's 105th birthday

  • 26/44 International Women's Day 2016

    #OneDayIWill video marks International Woman's Day on 8 March

  • 27/44 St David's Day 2016

    Google marks St David's Day

    Google

  • 28/44 Leap Year 2016

    Google celebrates Leap Day on 28 February 2

    Google

  • 29/44 Lantern Festival 2016

    Google celebrates the last day of the Chinese New Year celebrations with a doodle of the Lantern Festival

    Google

  • 30/44 Stethoscope Inventor, René Laennec

    Google celebrate's René Laennec's 235th birthday

  • 31/44 Valentine's Day 2016

    Google celebrates Valentine's Day with a romantic Doodle

  • 32/44 Dmitri Mendeleev

    Google celebrate Dmitri Mendeleev's 182nd birthday

  • 33/44 "The televisor" demonstartion

    Google Doodle celebrates 90 years since the first demonstration of television or "the televisor" to the public

  • 34/44 Professor Scoville

    Google marks Professor Scoville’s 151st birthday

  • 35/44 Sophie Taeuber-Arp

    Google marks Sophie Taeuber-Arp's 127th birthday

  • 36/44 Charles Perrault

    Google celebrates author Charles Perrault's 388th birthday

  • 37/44 Mountain of Butterflies discovery

    Google celebrates the 41st anniversary of the discovery of the Mountain of Butterflies

  • 38/44 Winter Solstice 2015

    Google celebrate the Winter Solstice

  • 39/44 St Andrew's Day 2015

    Google marks St Andrew's Day with doodle featuring Scotland's flag and Loch Ness monster

  • 40/44 41st anniversary of the discovery of 'Lucy'

    Google marks the 41st anniversary of the discovery of 'Lucy', the name given to a collection of fossilised bones that once made up the skeleton of a hominid from the Australopithecus afarensis species, who lived in Ethiopia 3.2 million years ago

  • 41/44 George Boole

    Google marks George Boole's 200th birthday

  • 42/44 Halloween 2015

    Google celebrates Halloween using an interactive doodle game "Global Candy Cup"

  • 43/44 Prague Astronomical Clock

    Google celebrates the 605th anniversary of the Prague Astronomical Clock, one of the oldest functioning timepieces in the world

  • 44/44 Autumnal Equinox 2015

    Google marks the autumnal equinox on 23 September

And as with each change in the season, there are rituals and traditions which accompany it. 

Read on for The Independent’s guide to the Spring equinox. 

The google doodle today makes me so happy. Also the picture on the calendar was the doodle last year for first day of the spring. pic.twitter.com/f0fZFzpIQ2

— nathalie (@fishermanswomen) March 20, 2017

What is Ostara?

Ostara is the name given by Pagans and Wiccans to the spring equinox and is one of the eight ‘sabbats’ – periods they believe make up the year. 

Some observers believe the event is a revival of ancient celebrations of spring, which merged into Easter after the spread of Christianity in the British Isles. 

Modern observers often see in Ostara at Stonehenge, in a similar fashion to the summer and winter solstices

When is daylight savings?

In the UK the clocks will ‘spring forward’ on Sunday, 26 March at 1am. 

Read more

Can you balance an egg?

This unusual question stems from the urban myth that it is possible to stand an egg on its end during the first day of spring. Proponents say this is because of a unique gravitational pull which occurs at this time of year.

But this is untrue. There is no change to the Earth’s gravitational pull during the spring equinox – or any other day. It is possible to balance an egg on its end, but, with the right know how, this is possible any time of the year. 

What happens on the vernal equinox?

The vernal equinox is the astrological name for the spring equinox. It marks the moment the sun crosses the equator from south to north. It occurred at 10.29 GMT.

Google Doodle Celebrates Its 16th Birthday

What is the solstice?

The equinox differs from the solstices, which occur twice yearly to mark the sun’s most northern or southern position relative to the equator. 

This year, the summer solstice falls on Wednesday, 21 June, while the winter solstice is on Thursday, 21 December.

Source : http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/spring-equinox-2017-vernal-google-doodle-what-is-ostara-when-begins-latest-google-doodle-daylight-a7639131.html

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