Take a look at world populations celebrating the first day of autumn – the Equinox – and see some of the most interesting traditions around the world.
Equinox days usually take place when the sun shines directly on the Ecuador. Contrary to what you might expect, they only take place twice a week, making equinox days rather rare. They usually occur in the Spring and the Autumn and they mark the beginning of the two seasons, based on previous calendar calculations that people have made.
The sunlight illuminating the Ecuador causes the two hemispheres, the Northern and the Southern ones to go through two different states. Thus, the Northern pole is celebrating the arrival of Fall, whereas inhabitants in the Southern hemisphere celebrate the beginning of Spring. Moreover, the equinox presupposes that the night and the day are equal.
Since this astronomical events only take place twice a year, populations around the world organize special events to mark the beginning of a new season. The most interesting ceremonies are held by Neo-Druids at Stonehenge. The equinox is very important for pagan cultures because it helps them better organize their agricultural activities. Consequently, Neo-Druids gather on equinox days and offer thanks for autumnal harvests.
China and Vietnam have a special autumn holiday on September 27. This year the Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the same day with the Supermoon eclipse, so inhabitants have many more reasons to celebrate Fall. During celebration, people gather in parks and public places to stare at the moon and eat Moon Cookies, traditional products for the Autumn Festival.
In Japan’s the winter equinox equals the transition towards other realms of life. Thus, this period, which is called Ohigan, presupposes lots of meditation and grave visits as people remember their loved once, who have evolved towards another form of existence.
Western cultures have various autumn festivals and contests. The majority of them involve pumpkin carving activities, apple picking, and sack races. The focus is placed on autumnal harvests and their benefits for people and their homes. Festivals give Westerners a reason to spend as much time in the outdoor as possible and enjoy the mild sunlight before winter sets in.
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