Happy Autumnal Equinox – the official end of summer and start of autumn in the northern hemisphere!
The word equinox is latin for ‘equal night’, and marks the time when the Sun shines directly over the Earth’s equator, bringing 12 hours of daylight and darkness for nearly all inhabitants of planet Earth. It’s also the time when the Sun rises and sets almost directly East and West from our perspective.
Many ancient cultures recognised and marked the two equinoxes as the dividing points between each solstice in June and December. Perhaps none moreso than the ancient Maya of Central America, who aligned an elaborate temple in Chichen Itza in such a way that the body of a great serpent ripples down the steps on each equinox.
Today, thousands of people still gather on the equinoxes to mark this marvel of ancient construction, and the relentless passage of time.
Precise equinox time: 1.54am on Sunday 23rd September