Spring Equinox

Spring Equinox Quick Facts - NZ

AKA Namevernal equinox
2024 Date23 September 2024
2025 Date22 September 2025

Spring Equinox

Spring Equinox in 2024

Spring Equinox History

The Spring Equinox occurs when the Earth's axis tilts neither towards nor away from the sun, resulting in nearly equal hours of daylight and darkness. This observance traditionally marks the beginning of spring in various cultures and signifies a time of renewal, rebirth, and growth. Some common aspects of Spring Equinox celebrations around the world include festive gatherings, artistic performances, and traditional practices that symbolize the return of life and fertility to the Earth.

In New Zealand, the Spring Equinox has cultural significance as it corresponds with the Maori lunar calendar. April starts the Mataariki (Māori New Year), an appointed time of plantings and harvests. The revitalizing of native flora and fauna during this period has traditionally been embraced by New Zealanders, with the knowledge that the regeneration of the environment is essential to the well-being of the community. The Spring Equinox also brings warmer weather to the Southern Hemisphere, a welcome change following the cooler winter months.

Nowadays, Spring Equinox in New Zealand is observed through various customs and activities that embrace the changing season and the natural environment. Gardens are prepared for planting, people partake in outdoor recreational pursuits that were hindered by the winter weather, and communities come together to celebrate the arrival of spring. The Spring Equinox in New Zealand occurs on or around September 23rd each year, depending on the specificities and adjustments of the country's time zone and calendar system.

Top facts about Spring Equinox

  • The term equinox comes from Latin, meaning equal night. On the Spring Equinox, the day and night are approximately equal in duration, with both lasting around 12 hours.
  • Godwit birds fly more than 11,000 kilometers to spend the summer in New Zealand, marking the onset of warmer and longer days.

Top things to do for Spring Equinox in NZ

  • Visit the Christchurch Botanic Gardens or the Wellington Botanic Garden to witness an array of vibrant spring blooms, including tulips, daffodils, and cherry blossoms.
  • If you're visiting the South Island around the spring equinox, take a whale-watching tour in Kaikoura, which offers a great opportunity to witness migrating humpback whales, sperm whales, and orcas.

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