3/20/09

Rites Of Passage

Since this is the first day of spring where I live, I definitely had plans to talk about it! So I am revisiting an older post that says it all.

For those of us in this hemisphere, we welcome the first day of spring. For others, it the opposite, but for me it's the Vernal Equinox.

W
hat does happens at the Equinoxes?

The Sun will cross directly over the Earth's equator. This moment is known as the Vernal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. For the Southern Hemisphere, this is the moment of the Autumnal Equinox. Translated literally, Equinox means "equal night." Because the sun is positioned above the equator, day and night are about equal in length all over the world during the Equinoxes. How cool is that? Day and night equal in hours.

Reasons for the Seasons

These brief but monumental moments owe their significance to the 23.4 degree tilt of the Earth's axis. Because of the tilt, we receive the Sun's rays most directly in the summer. In the winter, when we are tilted away from the Sun, the rays pass through the atmosphere at a greater slant, bringing lower temperatures. If the Earth rotated on an axis perpendicular to the plane of the Earth's orbit around the Sun, there would be no variation in day lengths or temperatures throughout the year, and we would not have seasons.

Rituals and Traditions

Modern astronomy aside, people have recognized the Vernal Equinox for thousands of years. There is no shortage of rituals and traditions surrounding the coming of spring. Many early peoples celebrated simply to have their food supplies restored. The date is significant in Christianity because Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. It is also probably no coincidence that early Egyptians built the Great Sphinx so that it points directly toward the rising Sun on the day of the Vernal Equinox. Hey, sounds like we could come up with some interesting story ideas here!

So go celebrate your own Rite of Spring, or Autumn as the case may be!

A Reminder:
Bestselling Silhouette Nocturne author CARIDAD PINEIRO will be here on Monday, March 23rd. Her latest release is FURY CALLS. So be here for a chance to meet this intriguing multi-published author. Oh yes, and did I say there is a chance to win some fabulous prizes too!

Kaye

14 comments:

Suzanne said...

Happy first day of spring, Kaye.

:-)

Sarah Simas said...

Happy Spring, Kaye!

Linda Banche said...

Nice post.

I love astronomy, so here's another spring fact.

One time I counted the number of days in winter and summer. Winter in the northern hemisphere is a few days shorter than summer. Why? The earth is closest to the sun in January, so it revolves around the sun faster making the trip in less time than in summer.

Happy spring.

Kaye Manro said...

Thanks Suzanne! And happy spring right back at you!

Nice to see you, Sarah! Happy spring to you too!

Thanks Linda, that's a great fun fact! You always add such good informative comments.

Helen Hardt said...

Kaye, the music on your blog always puts me in a good mood. Happy Spring to you!

Helen

Kaye Manro said...

Thank you Helen! And here I was, thinking of removing the music. You have a great first day of spring too.

Cari Quinn said...

I love the music, Kaye, and also enjoy your informational posts. I always anticipate equinoxes - the autumnal equinox especially, because I love fall. I wait for it all year. LOL

Happy spring! And I'll definitely be back on Monday! :)

Christina Phillips said...

Happy Spring, Kaye! Even though we're in autumn down under, in my heart March is spring and always will be!!

Debs said...

You write such fascinating posts, I always learn something new.

Happy first day of Spring.

Kaye Manro said...

Thanks Cari - I debated on keeping the music... guess it stays for a while.

Happy Autumn to you, Christina! Fall is nice too.

Thanks Debs, I try to keep informative posts coming along.

Suzanne Brandyn said...

Hi Kaye,
I love spring, it's a welcoming sight, especially after winter. We are in our first month of Autumn, although some of the days are just as hot as summer.
I love all our seasons, except winter. urgh!

No. no, don't take away the music, it's different and lovely to listen to while reading your blog.

Suz :)

Kaye Manro said...

Hi Suzanne! Okay, I'll leave the music for a while. I'm with you-- winter is not my best time of year, but I do like spring, summer and fall.

Tonya Renee Callihan said...

Happy Spring Kaye and everyone else! I am so excited for the warm weather to get here and stay.

I am also excited about Monday the 23rd. I am currently reading Fury Calls by Caridad Pineiro. Once I'm finished I will be writing a review for freshfiction.com. So far it's a great read and everyone should check it out.

Kaye Manro said...

Thanks Tonya, I'm sure Caridad will be thrilled to here that. I'm looking forward to Monday too, and I'm also reading Fury Calls as well.

I'm so glad spring is here!