There are two equinoxes every year – in September and March – when the sun shines directly on the equator and the length of day and night is nearly equal. We normally say that the date for the Autumnal Equinox is the 21st of September but this year it is the 22nd of September! A September 21 equinox has not happened since 1000 AD
When it’s summer in Ireland or the northern hemisphere then it’s winter in the southern hemisphere so this means that as we have the autumnal equinox in the northern hemisphere, in countries like Australia in the southern hemisphere have the vernal or spring equinox.
At the time of year of the equinox, night and day are nearly exactly the same length – 12 hours – all over the world. The term “equinox,” is derived from Latin, meaning “equal night.”
But did you know that Equinoxes are not day-long events, even though many choose to celebrate all day. Instead, they occur at the exact moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above Earth’s Equator.
Did you know that the the Celtic Wheel of Festivals are based around the shortest and longest day’s of the year and the equinox?
With the winter approaching the clocks will go back (it’s always good to remember that when the clocks change they either “Spring” forward or “Fall” back). This year the clocks will go back on the 29th of October and won’t go forward again until March 25th 2018.
So the nights will be getting longer and the days sorter until we reach the shortest day of the year which is Thursday the 21st of December 2017. Then the cycle starts all over again.