The term equinox has been derived from the Latin word Equinoxium. It means ‘equality between day and night’. There are two equinoxes, March Equinox and the September Equinox. The Equinox that occurs in March is known as Vernal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and the Autumnal Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Equinox that occurs in September is Vernal (spring) equinox of Southern Hemisphere and the Autumnal (fall) Equinox of the Northern Hemisphere. The equinox actually occurs at a specific moment in time when the Sun crosses the celestial equator but some cultures around the world celebrate the whole day.
Quick Facts: –
- On the equinoxes, day and night are of almost same duration at most time zones of the world.
- In reality though equinoxes do not have exactly 12 hours of daylight.
- The date of an equinox is not fixed due to the earth’s elliptical orbit of the sun.
- The March Equinox happens on March 19, 20 or 21 and the September Equinox occurs on September 22 or 23 every year.
- The Earth’s axis is always tilted at an angle of about 23.5° in relation to the ecliptic. On the equinoxes, the tilt of the Earth’s axis is perpendicular to the Sun’s rays.
- The equinox happens at the same time around the world.
- Many festivals are celebrated in different countries around the world at the time of the Vernal Equinox like: – Easter, Holi, Passover etc.
- Vernal Equinox marks the beginning of the new astrological year.
- Some people confuse equinox and solstice with each other but in actual, both of them are completely different.
- Equinoxes occur when the earth is at the midpoint of its axis.