By Jessica Roy
March 20, 2014

March 20th marks the Spring Equinox, better known as the first day of Spring. And after a brutal winter season bummed out much of the U.S. for six straight months, the equinox is a welcome sign that hey, it might actually get warmer.

The happy news is already trending on Twitter, and Google is celebrating the occasion with an awesome animated Doodle showing a cartoon man watering seeds, which blossom into flowers that spell out GOOGLE:


Meanwhile, some businesses are offering promotions to mark the equinox. Rita’s Ice, for example, is holding its 22nd annual First Day of Spring Celebration, where you can go get a free water ice.

So what exactly is the Vernal Equinox? TIME writer Harry Swartout explains:

Twice a year, the earth’s axis is angled such that the world gets an equal amount of daylight and night. As the axis tilts further, the northern hemisphere receives more direct sunlight, leading to spring and summer’s warmer temperatures. The Equinox helps mark important celebrations around the world like Nowruz, the Persian New Year, Easter, and Passover.

It also means you can officially wear white–but only until Labor Day.

So though it’s technically the first day of Spring, it’s looking pretty cold out there across much of the country. The Weather Channel’s temperature map is basically coated in blue:

The Weather Channel

Those temps should warm up throughout the day, though: in NYC we’re looking at a high of 57, which–considering the winter we’ve had–is practically tropical.

Now put on your best pastel outfit and maybe even think about having lunch outside (but decide against it because it’s probably still too cold). It’s SPRING.


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