March 20, 2017, is the first day of spring, aka the vernal equinox. Is it true you can balance an egg or a broom on its end during the spring equinox?
Unfortunately, the story that a special property of the equinox allows eggs (or brooms) to be balanced on their ends is an old wives’ tale.
The spring equinox lands on either March 20 or 21 every year in the northern hemisphere. It is one of the four seasonal astronomical events that impacts earth. The other three are the summer solstice, the autumnal equinox, and the winter solstice.
The spring equinox is also known as the vernal equinox. “Vernal” means “of relating to spring” in Latin. “Equinox” means “equal night” in Latin. The spring equinox is one of the two annual equinoxes where the sun shines directly on the equator and the length of day and night is nearly the same.
However, nothing about any of the astronomical events can stop anyone from standing an egg or anything else on end any other day of the year, according to Snopes. Here’s a video of an egg being balanced during a non-astrological event day:
Besides the four major astrological events, there’s also something called an “equilux,” which means “equal light” in Latin. The spring equilux occurs about four days before the spring equinox, which means it occurred on March 17. According to the Pine River Observatory, an equilux is “the day that has equal hours and minutes of sun above and below the horizon.”
Now you know!