Vernal Equinox: Spring's Equality of Night
The Winding Stairs: Astronomy Step
Today is March 20th, 2013 A.D. 6013 A.L. and it marks the Vernal Equinox. In our effort to increase our knowledge of Astronomy, as suggested through the Winding Stairs lecture, we observe today’s celestial occurrence of the equality of night and day. In the Northern Hemisphere we know this day by its popular title of Vernal Equinox, which means Spring’s Equality of Night (Autumn Equinox for our friends Down Under).
vernal (adj.) "pertaining to spring," 1530s, from Latin vernalis "of the spring," from vernus "of spring," from ver "spring," from PIE *wesr-"spring" (cf. Old Norse var "spring," Greek ear, Sanskrit vasantah, Persian bahar, Old Church Slavonic vesna "spring," Lithuanianvasara "summer").
equinox (n.) late 14c., from Old French equinoce (12c.) or directly from Medieval Latin equinoxium "equality of night (and day)," from Latinaequinoctium "the equinoxes," from aequus "equal" (see equal (adj.)) + nox (genitive noctis) "night" (see night). The Old English translation was efnniht. Related: Equinoctial.