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Spring equinox brings folk beliefs

March 19, 2012 at 3:43 PM   |   Comments

LOS ANGELES, March 19 (UPI) -- A lot of people Tuesday will try to stand a raw egg on end, believing it's easier on the spring equinox than on any other day -- but it's not, scientists say.

Long-held folk beliefs suggest the position of the sun and other planets on the vernal equinox -- when the sun is positioned directly over the equator -- means miraculous feats of balance can occur.

However, astronomers are adamant that equinoxes and planetary alignments have no "physical effect on earthly objects," About.com says.

Standing eggs on end or balancing a broom on its bristles isn't easy, but it's no more nor less easy on any one day than another.

The Chinese may have originated the egg-standing practice at the spring equinox, as eggs suggest the fertility theme of the vernal equinox, while balancing brooms is popular at the autumnal equinox with its fall atmosphere of witches and Halloween, the Los Angeles Times said.

Some other traditional events are tied to the equinox: Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox.

Nowruz, known widely as the Persian New Year, takes place on the vernal equinox.

And at sunrise on the spring equinox, Egypt's sphinx points directly to the rising sun.

No eggs involved, of course.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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