When Is the First Day of Spring 2023 / 2024?
In the Northern Hemisphere, spring starts in March; south of the equator, it begins in September. Find out the spring dates for 2023 and 2024.
Spring Equinox 2023 and 2024
Seasons can be defined in several different ways. The astronomical definition is based on the equinoxes and solstices, and spring begins with the spring equinox or vernal equinox. In the Northern Hemisphere, it is the equinox in March; south of the equator, it's the September equinox.
Spring Equinox, Northern Hemisphere (March)
North America, Europe, most of Asia, Northern Africa
In Washington DC, District of Columbia, USA: Tuesday, March 19, 2024 at 11:06 pm EDT (Change location)
This corresponds to Wednesday, March 20, 2024 at 03:06 UTC.
Spring Equinox, Southern Hemisphere (September)
Australia, New Zealand, South America, southern Africa
In Washington DC, District of Columbia, USA: Saturday, September 23, 2023 at 2:50 am EDT (Change location)
This corresponds to Saturday, September 23, 2023 at 06:50 UTC.
Alternative Spring Start Dates
In meteorology, the spring season begins on a different date. Also, some countries don't have fixed season dates but determine the start and end of spring based on average temperatures.
Greatest Increase in Day Length
As spring starts, the length of day increases dramatically in most regions—except for the tropics, where day lengths do not change much during the course of a year.
In fact, the increase is greatest in the days surrounding the spring equinox. After that, days still get longer, but at an ever-decreasing rate. On the longest day of the year, the summer solstice, the day-to-day difference reaches zero.
At the same time, locations farther from the equator experience larger day-to-day differences. In Toronto, the day of the spring equinox is 3 minutes longer than the previous day; in Miami, roughly 2000 kilometers or 1200 miles farther south, the difference is only about 1 minute and 31 seconds.
Equal Day and Night?
Astronomical spring begins on the day of the equinox. The name of the event derives from Latin and means equal night, giving the impression that both day and night are exactly 12 hours long. However, that is not entirely true. In most regions, daytime at the equinox is a bit longer than 12 hours.
The date when day and night are actually equal is called the equilux. It falls a few days before the spring equinox and some days after the fall equinox in both hemispheres.
Particularly in the temperate zone, which is the region between the tropics and the polar regions, spring is also the time when the cold of winter begins to give way to warmer weather, though this varies substantially from one region to another.
Traditions and Folklore
The start of spring and the spring equinox are celebrated in cultures and religions around the world with various spring traditions, holidays, and festivals.
In the Northern Hemisphere, depending on which definition you use, spring can include parts or all of the months of March, April, May, and June. South of the equator, it starts in September and ends in December. Read more about the history and meaning of the spring months:
Northern spring months
Southern spring months
How Long Is Spring?
The Earth does not move at a constant speed in its elliptical (oval) orbit, so the seasons are not of equal length. On average, spring lasts for 92.8 days in the Northern Hemisphere and 89.8 days in the Southern Hemisphere.
Average season lengths: