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This year’s Equinox…

September 14th 2015
By: Melanie Hollidge

The last bank holiday weekend in August always seems to mark the start of Autumn, it’s the subtle changes such as the darker mornings. But autumn doesn’t officially start until the Equinox, which is when night and daytime are 12 hours long.
 
In March and September each year the sun shines directly onto the equator which results in the length of the day and night being almost equal. The term ‘equinox’ means ‘equal night”, and this occurs nearly all over the entire world.
 
This year’s Equinox will take place on the 23rd September, which is when the sun crosses the celestial equator, an imaginary line in the sky directly above the earth’s equator, which runs from North to South. The axis of the earth is constantly tilted on an angle of 23.5% in relation to the ecliptic – an imaginary plane created by the earth’s path around the sun.
 
In many locations in the Northern hemisphere people view the Equinox as the start of autumn, and this change of season is often celebrated. In the UK we celebrate by holding a Harvest Festival on the first full moon closest to the Equinox. It’s a time when we come together to celebrate a successful harvest and donate food to people less fortunate than ourselves.