First Day Of Spring 2013: Vernal Equinox In Photos Across The Northern Hemisphere

  • Spring 2013
    A pedestrian walks past a pile of snow, and the words "Spring Starts Here" in a store window, during a late winter snow storm in Boston, Massachusetts March 19, 2013.
  • Spring 2013
    A honeybee collects pollen on a snowdrop flower in Klosterneuburg on the first day of spring March 20, 2013.
  • Spring 2013
    A pedestrian walks past a pile of snow, and the words "Spring Starts Here" in a store window, during a late winter snow storm in Boston, Massachusetts March 19, 2013.
  • Spring 2013
    Spring flowers bloom between the gravestones in a church yard in Knutsford, northern England March 19, 2013.
  • Spring 2013
    A German carrier Air Berlin aircraft takes off at Tegel airport in Berlin, March, 20, 2013. Germany's Air Berlin said on Wednesday it saw 2013 as a year of "rebuilding" after announcing a new savings programme in October year but stopped short of providing an earnings outlook.
  • Spring 2013
    A man walks past trees covered with snow in Beijing, March 20, 2013.
  • Spring 2013
    A security guard stands next to a snowman decorated with a cap, a pair of glasses and a CNOOC signboard at the entrance of China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) office tower in Beijing, March 20, 2013.
  • Spring 2013
    An Afghan woman buys meat from a shop ahead of the Afghan New Year (Nawroz) in Kabul March 20, 2013.
  • Spring 2013
    People take pictures and enjoy the snow after heavy snowfall overnight, at the top of Jingshan Park, in central Beijing March 20, 2013.
  • Spring 2013
    Ferrari Formula One driver Fernando Alonso (R) of Spain and team manager Massimo Rivola ride their bicycles around the Sepang International Circuit, ahead of the Malaysia F1 Grand Prix in Sepang March 20, 2013.
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The first day of Spring arrived on Wednesday with the 2013 vernal equinox heralding the end of winter, sort of.

While for many spring has sprung, others are still dealing with winter-like conditions of snow, hail and ice after snowstorm Ukko hit the Northeast and Midwest earlier this week. The National Weather Service issued winter storm warnings from Maine to Connecticut after Wisconsin, North Dakota and other parts of the Midwest were hit hard with freezing temperatures, wind and a snow-rain combination.

The vernal equinox, also called the spring equinox, is when the sun moves across the celestial equator. In the Northern Hemisphere, the resulting effects include longer days and shorter nights. By contrast, the Southern Hemisphere during the same equinox marks the beginning of longer nights and shorter days and heralds the beginning of autumn.

This year’s vernal equinox happens on March 20, which is early according to some people; However, last year’s equinox happened on March 20 as well, marking the earliest in more than a century.

The occasion is celebrated in a myriad of ways across the globe, but if you happen to live in an area where spring has sprung, head over to your local Rita’s Italian Ice to receive a free Italian ice in honor of the Vernal Equinox on Wednesday.

View the slideshow to see photos of the first day of Spring 2013 across the northern hemisphere.

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