This month is all about “falling” into our favorite autumn traditions, like picking apples, drinking cider, and snuggling under our favorite cozy blanket. Saturday marked the official beginning of autumn, when the September equinox occurred at exactly 9:54pm Eastern Time on September 22, 2018. If you are thinking to yourself right now, “I thought equinox was a brand of laundry detergent,” then our guess is you are probably not alone. An equinox is the time or date at which the sun crosses the celestial equator, when day and night are of equal length. An equinox occurs twice a year – once in September and again in March at the beginning of spring.
“Okay, but why does it get a special name? Can’t they just call it the first day of fall?” Most languages we’re familiar with today have Latin roots, and equinox is no exception. “Aequi” means equal, and “nox” means night, which makes sense because, as we mentioned before, an equinox is a time when day and night are equally as long. This is possible because as the Earth moves around the sun, it’s tilted at a fixed angle. The North Pole tilts toward the sun one-half of the year, and the South Pole is closer during the other half. During this shift, the equator is closer to the sun than the North or South poles – and that’s exactly what the equinox is. You can even see the similarities between the words “equinox” and “equator,” both of Latin origin.
People of ancient cultures measured time by observing the position of the sun, and so they noticed that the sun’s rising and setting points moved slightly each day of the year. Eventually, they also noticed there were two days of the year when the sun rose exactly due east and set exactly due west, thus marking the equinoxes. In order to predict when these two days would occur, archaeologists believe that people of these ancient culture used sites like Stonehenge to track the position of the sun.
There are many customs and rituals observed around the September equinox by various cultures and religions. The ancient Greeks believed that the September equinox meant the reunion of Persephone and Hades, the rulers of the underworld. The Harvest Moon festival is another popular ritual celebrated by the Chinese where they make offerings to the moon in exchange for a bountiful harvest of rice and wheat. Other cultures also take the time to acknowledge the Harvest Moon and celebrate nature and other gifts from the Earth.
Many people still take the time to celebrate the September equinox by making lists of gratitude, doing a fall deep cleaning of their home, and pledging to start something new. Equinoxes mark the beginning of a new season, which is a great time for everyone to let go of negative energy and begin anew.
One way you could start the fall season off on the right foot is making sure you are driving legally. Good2Go Auto Insurance can help you do that with low-cost, minimum coverage auto insurance. For a free, no-obligation quote, visit www.good2go.com today.
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