Grandpa always said if he made it to the Equinox he knew he would be alive for another five months. I wonder if there was truth to Grandpa’s legend.
In my quick research about the fall equinox I was reminded of some interesting things. We here in the northern hemisphere had the first day of fall today but our friends on the other side of equator had their first day of spring. That is a little hard for us to wrap our heads around. My friend who lives in South Africa helps me keep the seasons straight with her Facebook posts put it’s still difficult to fathom.
The first and last day of fall and spring are also the days of almost equal daylight and dark. In the spring that longer day is a great joy for me but in the fall, for those of us who live with seasonal affective disorder (depression caused by lack of daylight), it is the mark of what can be a difficult and dismal time of year. If you see us with our faces pressed to the window on a sunny day you should not be surprised.
Something I didn’t know before today was about the festivals which surround Equinox. While it doesn’t hold the same fanfare as the Summer and Winter Solstice it is still celebrated in many countries and cultures. Winter Solstice is the light festival in almost every culture. I knew someone who lived in the Yukon and he talked about how the 21st of June (the summer solstice) is spent picnicking on Keno hill while they watch the sun move around it. Most of the fall equinox celebrations have to do with harvest while the ones in the spring are about fertility and planting.
I’m sure my Great Uncle Norm MacPherson, who I think knew everything, could explain it to me in a way I would understand but generally, the science is beyond me. Aside from the science, but because of it, we experience two interesting phenomena after the fall equinox. I knew about the harvest moon we usually see in the fall. That bigger than usual, red/golden ball rising in the east in October but the other spectacle in the sky is the Northern lights or aurora borealis. We can expect to see more often over the next month and I understand from other reports I’ve seen lately that this year the light show is going to bigger and better than usual so those of a little further south may well be able to enjoy it.
Wishing you a wonderful fall season.