02/27/2014 03:19 EST | Updated 02/28/2014 10:59 EST

First Day Of Spring 2014 Is Almost Here

Fear not, Canada: we can almost put this horrific cold behind us.

The spring equinox arrives at 12:57 p.m. ET (9:57 a.m. PT) on March 20, marking an official end to a winter in the Northern Hemisphere that has seen many Canadians caught in blizzards, snow squalls and a polar vortex.

The equinox happens at the moment when the sun crosses directly over Earth's equator, splitting day and night into equal lengths in all parts of the world. It also marks the start of autumn in the Southern Hemisphere.

While we're all looking forward to sunny days and blooming flowers, spring also means that allergy season is upon us. Trees, grass and weeds release pollen for the purpose of fertilizing other plants, but it also triggers runny noses and itchy eyes among certain people.

Spring will stay with us until June 21 at 6:51 a.m. ET (3:51 a.m. PT), which marks the start of the summer season.

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