Spring 2017 officially arrived on Monday, March 20.

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Spring 2017 officially arrived on Monday, March 20.

The day is formally known at the vernal equinox. But what is the equinox and what does it mean? Here’s what you need to know:

■The vernal equinox gets its name from a mid-16th century word derived from the Latin term “ver,” which means spring.

■The word “equinox” means the point at which the sun crosses the Earth’s equator. On this day, the sun shines directly on the equator, making the day and night almost equal.

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■The equinox happens at the same moment worldwide, even if our clock times reflect a different time zone.

■ The ancient Greeks and Romans celebrated the vernal equinox as a time of rebirth and renewal, a time for planting crops that would grow until the fall harvest. Flowers and plants start to bloom, and many animals come out of hibernation.

■The legend that one can stand an egg on its end only on the equinox is a myth. The equinox has no bearing on egg stability. According to NASA, eggs have small bumps on their shells that allow them to balance on the their ends any day of the year.