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Today at 4:44 p.m. EDT – just a little while ago as I write this post, autumn rolled in. In these last few days, the leaves have really started to take on color and the mountains are starting to become dotted with the yellows, oranges and reds that traditionally herald fall foliage.
I have to admit that fall is one of my favorite seasons. There is a crisp smell to the air and a chill in the morning and evening air. It’s the beginning of sweater weather and during the fall days the sunshine feels just so wonderful on your face.
This has been a nice, relaxed weekend. I had a fun day yesterday taking some pictures for a friend and getting to walk around outside enjoying the beginnings of the fall foliage season.
Today, I have been baking, making some autumn treats — pumpkin granola bars and pumpkin granola. There are apples in a basket on the table and every visit to the Saturday’s farmer’s market makes you appreciate the fruits and vegetables of summer which will be disappearing all too soon.
Hope in the coming days, you take the time to enjoy the autumn weather if you are fortunate enough to have turning leaves and crisp nights in your neck of the woods.
- Fall Foliage Schedule for the Poconos – Pocono Mountains Pennsylvania (jackikellum.wordpress.com)
- A Detailed Guide to Photographing Fall Foliage (ifancyphoto.wordpress.com)
- Fun Facts About Fall (bostonchimneyco.com)
- Sleepy Sundays: Autumnal Equinox (cardcastlesinthesky.wordpress.com)
- Autumn Equinox: 5 Odd Facts About Fall (livescience.com)
- Savor the Season: Autumn (inspiredhealthyorganized.wordpress.com)
There are a variety of celebrations that mark the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. I can imagine that winter can be very long in some parts of the world and throwing a celebration of sorts halfway is probably a good idea.
Here we celebrate Groundhog Day which is the day when the designated groundhog will predict the weather for us —kind of makes you wonder how they get these holidays, doesn’t it? Traditionally, about halfway through winter, hibernating animals would poke their heads out to determine what was going on outside — and depending upon what they observed they would head back in for six more weeks of hibernation.
It is also the celebration of Candlemas which is marks the purification of Mary, mother of Jesus and the presentation of Jesus to the temple for the first time. According to custom, after birth Jewish women were not permitted back to temple for a period of 40 days — they were considered unpure. February 2nd marks the end of the 40 day period from Christmas.
It is also a day that candles are lit to symbolize the returning of the strength of the sun, the coming of spring and to banish evil spirits. This became the day that all the candles to be used in the church for the coming year were blessed during mass, hence Candle-mass.
In Ireland, Scotland and Wales this time of the year is the celebration of Imbolc which is the celebration of the time that the ewe’s milk starts flowing recognizing the beginning of lambs’ births– usually associated with spring.
In France it is known as La Chadeleur or Crepe Day. The French celebrate Candlemas by not only lighting candles but also by making crepes. A French tradition is to hold a coin in your writing hand and simultaneously hold the crepe pan with your other hand and try to flip the crepe successfully. If you manage to catch your crepe, it predicts prosperity for your family in the year to come.
There are several Candlemas sayings which revolve around the prediction of the weather….
Winter will have another fight.
If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain,
Winter won’t come again.
If Candlemas be dry and fair
The half o winter’s to come and mair;
If Candlemas be wet and foul
The half o winter’s gane at Yule.
- Punxsutawney Phil: Spring is coming! (news.blogs.cnn.com)
- Early Morning Open Thread: Happy Candlemas (balloon-juice.com)
- Happy Groundhog Day! (ourvirtualclassroom.wordpress.com)
- Top 10 facts about Groundhog Day, and there’s no Bill Murray in sight (mirror.co.uk)
- Happy Ground Hog Day! Feb 2, 2013 (romeo365.wordpress.com)
Did you see it? Did you? Remember when either you were little or your children were and you would play that little game to keep them from falling asleep – usually during a car ride when you were close to your destination and sleepy kids was not an option.
Evidently at 1:14 a.m. this morning, E.D.T. the sun was directly over the equator, marking the vernal equinox. Did you see it? Yeah, neither did I. Could be the darkness, hard to see the sun with all that pitch black out there. Or maybe, if you were lucky, you were sleeping. I was, but I’m not anymore.
Vernal Equinox marks the first day of spring. Did you know that Easter always falls on the First Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox? Nope, neither did I – learn something new everyday.
Another interesting fact for you — this is the earliest spring in over a 100 years. The last time spring was this early was 1896. In the Pacific and Mountain time zones, the first day was spring was really yesterday, since the vernal equinox took place before midnight for them. See, you missed it.
In any event, enjoy the spring. Here in Vermont we are supposed to have a beautiful day with temperatures hitting the 70s — maybe, just maybe it will help dry out the mud.
Welcome to Spring — or as we call it here on the dirt roads — Mud Season.
- Vernal equinox 2012 arrives: Spring has sprung (summitcountyvoice.com)
- Vernal Equinox 2012: First Day of Spring Is March 20 (blippitt.com)
- Google Doodles Vernal (Spring) Equinox (tonbak.wordpress.com)
Today is one of my favorite days of the year — the official start to the autumn season. Today is the day of the autumnal equinox. The word “equinox” means “equal night” and refers to equality between day and night. It is said to be the time when the hours of light and dark are equal, although scientifically that is not entirely accurate.
According to Greek mythology, the autumnal equinox marked the start of the period when the goddess Persephone returns to live with her husband Hades in the underworld. Persephone is also referred to as the vegetation goddess who is associated with the growing season. Her return to Hades in the underworld marks the end of the growing season and the time of harvest. Myth states that her mother Demeter was so saddened that she could not find her daughter that the crops died and would not reappear until the spring when Persephone comes back from the underworld.
The first day of autumn is also referred to as the Mabon in the Pagan and Wiccan traditions and is considered the second harvest festival. It signifies the end of the grain harvest. It is a time for reflection and thanksgiving to Mother Earth for the bounties that she has bestowed. It is a time to take stock of the fruits of the harvest and prepare the crops and the livestock for the long winter ahead. Druids, who call the holiday Alban Elfed would take the last corn stalk and turn it into a figure in order to trap the corn spirit inside. The stalk was burned and the ashes spread over the fields to ensure future bounties. It is also a time to reflect inward and prepare for the time ahead. Interestingly, it is in the autumn as opposed to the New Year, that traditionally one took stock of one’s life and place in it.
The full moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox is referred to as the Harvest Moon. It was the full moon closest to the harvest of crops. This year’s Harvest moon occurred about 10 days ago.
Here in Vermont, it has felt like autumn for a few weeks now. The foliage has taken on fall colors and the mountains are gradually turning into a virtual explosion of different shades of yellow, orange and red. The air is crisp and we have already had a good frost here where I live. Apples are being harvested and smoke permeates the air from wood stoves and fireplaces already working to keep the chill out of the air. The fields are returning to their winter nakedness waiting to blanketed by snowfall. It is a peaceful time, given the harrowing days and weeks the preceded this Equinox from Tropical Storm Irene. Vermont is settling into her own, it is one of the best times of year here in the mountains.
Wherever you are, enjoy the balance of the day and take time to reflect upon the past year and the remainder to come.
Today marks the day that day and night are roughly equal in length. It is the vernal equinox, where the sun was directly over the equator. The result is that the length of time that we are exposed to daylight and then night are equal, or roughly equal, in length. The actual equinox, where the sun is directly over the equator will occur at 1:32 p.m. here in the Eastern Daylight zone.
There is a rumor that during the vernal equinox you can stand an egg on end, however, that has pretty much been disproven, since with time and patience, one can stand an egg on end at any time during the year, not just during the equinox. There is evidently no special gravity present during this time that would account for an egg’s ability to stand on end … or dance… or do anything special.
Vernal equinox marks the first day of spring. A rebirth of the earth, a time that Mother Nature shakes off winter like a bear coming out of hibernation and shrugging off the sleepiness of winter.
There are many different celebrations and many of the holidays that we know are set around the equinox. Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox.
World Storytelling Day, preserving the art of oral storytelling is celebrated on the day of the vernal equinox or March 20th this year. It is celebrated all over the world on this day and originated in Sweden in 1991. It is a day to tell stories and promote the art of storytelling, one of the most ancient of all art forms. Go ahead, share some stories today – Happy Spring! (By the way, we STILL have snow here.)
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- Vernal Equinox 2010: First Day Of Spring INFO, TIME (PHOTOS) (huffingtonpost.com)
- Springtime, blossom by blossom – soon? (guardian.co.uk)