September Equinox 2016.
The seasons will officially change today, so be prepared for shorter days and colder weather…
Equinox comes from the Latin words equi, which means equal, and nox, which means night, together they translate to “equal night”. Two equinoxes happen per year, one marking the start of spring and one at the beginning of the autumn season. It signifies the time when the sun’s rays are centred on the equator.
During an equinox, the sun crosses the celestial equator, and so our day will have equal amounts of daylight and darkness. After the Autumn Equinox the days shorten and nights lengthen noticeably (3 mins per day).
In rural Britain, it was traditional to drink dandelion and burdock cordials at this time as these herbs helped to cleanse the blood and were a good tonic for the body after its winter hardships.
The full moon nearest to the Autumn Equinox is called the Harvest Moon and farmers would harvest their crops by then, as part of the second harvest celebration. Mabon was when livestock would be slaughtered and preserved (salted and smoked) to provide enough food for the winter.
At the South Pole they will be celebrating the first appearance of the sun in six months. However, at the North Pole they will be preparing for six months of darkness.
During Medieval times, the Christian Church replaced Pagan solstices and equinox celebrations with Christianised occasions.
The Autumn equinox celebration was Michaelmas, the feast of the Archangel Michael.