Spring 2020 Starts Now –According to our server’s clock it is now 11:50 p.m., EDT, March 19, which means the vernal equinox just happened and Spring 2020 has begun.
Equinox is Latin for “equal night.” Days and nights are approximately equal everywhere and the Sun rises and sets due east and west, explains The Old Farmers Almanac. At the equinoxes, the tilt of Earth relative to the Sun is zero, which means that Earth’s axis neither points toward nor away from the Sun.
Vernal comes from the Latin vernalis which means spring.
Henry Cole, a popular London museum director in the mid-19th century used to send short notes to his friends every Christmas. In 1843, he became extremely busy, so he asked John C. Horsely, an artist friend, to design a card saying “A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year to You.” And so, Cole invented the Christmas Card.
Tighe notes that Rome didn’t celebrate Dec. 25 as a pagan holiday until the anti-Christian Emperor Aurelian declared it to be the festival of the “Birth of the Unconquered Sun” in 274. By then, Christianity was already making its impact well felt on the Empire.
Tighe is also a faculty advisor to the Catholic Campus Ministry and a member of St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Church in Bethlehem.
Winter 2019 Starts Now — Today, Dec. 21, is 2019’s winter solstice which is the day with the fewest hours of sunlight during the whole year.
If this website’s clock is properly synched it is 11:19 p.m. EST. and that means winter has started.
The word solstice comes from the Latin words for “sun” and “to stand still.” As per the Old Farmer’s Almanac: In the Northern Hemisphere, as summer advances to winter, the points on the horizon where the Sun rises and sets advance southward each day; the high point in the Sun’s daily path across the sky, which occurs at local noon, also moves southward each day.
At the winter solstice, the Sun’s path has reached its southernmost position. The next day, the path will advance northward. However, a few days before and after the winter solstice, the change is so slight that the Sun’s path seems to stay the same, or stand still. The Sun is directly overhead at “high-noon” on Winter Solstice at the latitude called the Tropic of Capricorn.