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History of Autumnal Equinox

Autumn equinox marks the start of autumn or fall season in astronomical terms. Equinox is a word used to define equal duration of day and night. Everywhere around the world, one can experience equal amounts of daylight and darkness barring local weather conditions, during this day!

In the northern hemisphere autumnal equinox falls in the month of September while the southern hemisphere calls it the spring equinox. According to science autumnal equinox marks the beginning of fall but the onset of a season is decided by local factors including geography. So while some areas take it as the beginning of the fall, some others consider it as a mid-fall event. In the northern hemisphere, days begin to get shorter and the nights become longer after this event, while the reverse is true for southern hemisphere. The actual occurrence of this day each year is calculated by measuring the angle of the sun with respect to that of the earth. Geometrically the event occurs when earth and sun are at right angles.

From times immemorial, seasons have been celebrated. Festivals based on nature are often referred to paganism. But these festivals have been celebrated irrespective of religion and culture. In most places autumnal equinox marks the second harvesting phase. In ancient Greece autumnal equinox is often known for grape harvesting. Bavarians also celebrate this as a cultural festival. This tradition is followed even in the present day. The Chinese celebrate the occurrence of autumnal equinox as a family festival. Several nations around the world celebrate the harvest festival.

Indians celebrate Pongal as their major harvest festival. People in North America, especially the people in the United States celebrate Thanks giving festival. Both of these festivals intend to thank the gods for providing good weather and food. In ancient history, worship of sun has been prevalent in every known religion. Ever since people realized the importance of sun in everyday life they have attached special sentiments towards these harvest festivals.

Ashwin kumar
Sat, 15 May 2010 05:32:39 +0000

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