When is the spring of 2022? The spring equinox explains the date the new season begins – and what flowers will bloom?

The day will eventually be bigger than the night when spring arrives (Image: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The first month of the new year is near, the days are lengthening and the nights are shortening, we will say goodbye to winter immediately.

Soon it will be spring, we will welcome 2022 – but did you know there are really two different dates that the beginning of the season can kick off?

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Spring is when?

How the beginning of spring is determined, it all depends on whether you are following the ephemeris or the meteorology.

Met Office explains: “The sidereal seasons refer to the position of the Earth’s orbit in relation to the Sun, considering equinoxes and singularities.

“This is due to the 23.5-degree tilt of the Earth’s axis of rotation relative to its orbit around the Sun.

“Because the seasons are of different lengths, the start date of a new season can fall on different days each year.”

This year, the sidereal spring will begin on Sunday, March 20, 2022, and will end on Tuesday, June 21, 2022.

A bee pollinates Crocuses in St James’s Park as spring arrives in the UK in 2017 (Image: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

However, if you’re looking at a meteorological calendar, these seasons are instead based on “annual temperature cycles and measurements of meteorological conditions, as well as calendar overlaps to define clear transitions between seasons” according to the Met Office.

“Meteorological seasons consist of dividing the seasons into four phases, each lasting three months,” said the Bureau of Meteorology.

“The seasons are split to coincide with our Gregorian calendar, making it easier for meteorological observations and forecasts to compare seasonal and monthly statistics.”

For the meteorological calendar, the seasons are defined as:

  • Spring: March, April and May
  • Summer: June, July and August
  • Autumn: September, October and November
  • Winter: December, January and February

What is the spring equinox?

The first day of spring welcomes the vernal equinox, with almost equal hours of day and night.

In this context, the first day of spring refers to the astronomically determined date, which is Sunday, March 20 of this year.

The vernal equinox, also known as the March equinox or the vernal equinox, marks the turning point when the hours of daylight officially begin outnumbering the hours of darkness we experience.

Members of the Druid Order participate in a ceremony in Tower Hill to mark the Spring equinox on March 20, 2019 in London (Image: Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

Days are slightly longer and longer from the winter solstice in December, but it is the Vernal equinox that causes the scales to tilt forward more favorably for daylight.

When the summer solstice hits later this year, we enjoy the longest day of the year, with the days thus gradually shortening thereafter.

The word “equinox” itself actually translates as “equal night,” from the Latin words “aequus” (equality) and “nox” (night).

What flowers bloom in spring?

Another way some intrepid gardeners mark the start of spring is by keeping an eye out for certain flowers that bloom in season – like the classic daffodils, or tulips of all colors.

Daffodils are a classic flower of spring (Image: Hugh Hastings / Getty Images)

Other spring flowers include:

  • Primula vulgaris (Primula vulgaris)
  • Snowdrop (Galanthus spp)
  • Crocus (Crocus tommasinianus)
  • Hyacinth (Hyacinthus)
  • Forget-me-nots (Myosotis sylvatica)
  • Erysimum cheiri (Erysimum cheiri)
  • Lungwort (Pulmonaria)

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Huynh Nguyen

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