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Voted for temperature. After the deep freeze of Minnesota, that’s the biggest thing on my mind!
I would also vote for first buds on trees.
I mind the astronomical date as well, but for celebratory purposes, not for defining “spring.” I go with what it feels and looks like outside. More visceral that way. 🙂
For me, the solstices and are all about the increasing or decreasing light, whereas the cross-quarters are more about temperatures. But I do strongly associate the start of Spring with the return of migratory bird song and the white “popcorn” blossoms on the trees in our neighborhood.
In order to make the rest of the calendar “work” (e.g., summer solstice is Midsummer, Yule is Midwinter, etc.), I begin Spring at Imbolc (or, as I call it, Riverain). Around here, the equinox is really the height of Spring, not its beginning.