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24 Solar Terms: Spring Equinox
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The traditional Chinese lunar calendar divides the year into 24 solar terms. Spring Equinox, the fourth solar term of the year, signals we have reached halfway through spring. This year’s spring equinox begins on March 21.

Spring equinox divides the spring season, usually 90 days, in equal haves. It also is a day when the duration of day and night are 12 hours each, to the exact.

It is spring equinox in the Northern hemisphere, and autumn equinox in the Southern hemisphere. The duration of the day also begins to be longer than night after spring equinox.

The Iranian calendar starts on spring equinox. It is also the new year in Afghanistan, Turkey and others. The Japanese often pay respects to their ancestors on this day, and some part of the Arabic world celebrates Mother’s day.

Flying kites is a common leisure activity during spring equinox. People often write auspicious words on their kites and hope that gods above would see it when their kites are flown high in the sky.

The custom of making an egg stand to welcome spring equinox dates back to more than 4,000 years. It is still believed today that a standing egg on spring equinox can bring about a year worth of good fortune.

Many farmers would take the day off and eat glutinous rice balls on spring equinox. Furthermore, glutinous rice balls with no fillings are skewered and placed outside near the fields for the birds to prevent them from picking at the crops.

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