In this post I’m going to talk about Spring, because it started last week.
Or did it?
In Australia, as I’m sure you’re all aware, the Bureau of Meteorology has decided that the seasons will start on the 1st of the month (Spring in September, Summer in December, etc.).
But what if I told you that the 1st of the month is just a random day they picked just to make record-keeping easier? Who can live in that sort of random anarchistic society? I know I’m struggling.
Spring this year actually starts on the 23rd of September, at 12:21am.
How can I get it down to the minute, you ask?
Well, that’s because Spring starts after the Vernal Equinox. The Vernal Equinox is the point at which the Southern Hemisphere gets more sunlight than the Northern Hemisphere. It’s all very scientific, which is how these things should be determined. It depends on the tilt of the Earth, which is what causes the seasons in the first place.
Now here’s the bit that seems to cause all sorts of confusion for the people at the Bureau: it changes every year. That’s because the orbit of the Earth around the Sun doesn’t happen in exactly 365 days (the same reason we have leap years) and there’s a couple of other things that don’t happen in nice round numbers. It’s always going to be around the 21st of the month, but it’ll vary by a day or two either side.
And it’s not just Spring. There’s also an Autumnal Equinox. And a Summer and Winter Solstice. The Summer Solstice is the point at which the Sun is highest in the sky, and the Winter Solstice, the lowest. And they’re all around the 21st of the month.
But here’s what I don’t get: Easter varies every year. It depends on the cycle of the moon. People seem to handle that fine. And it varies by weeks from year to year. Why can’t they handle the start of the seasons that change by only a day or two?
I’m thinking about starting a movement. Maybe even get a petition going. Let’s stop the madness! Who’s with me?
Ok, that’s the end of my rant. Thanks to all of you who stuck it out this long. And Happy First Day of Spring! On the 23rd, not last week.