Weather be damned, Sun Mar 20 was the official start of our spring season. Known as the vernal quinox, or less commonly March equinox or Northward equinox, it is one of the two times a year when day and night are of approximately equal duration all over the planet. It is also one of two times a year when the sun rises due east and sets due west. Spring usually occurs on March 20 or 21, but can start as early March 19. The reason it doesn’t always happen on the same day is because the Earth doesn’t circle the sun in exactly 365 days. Meteorologists say spring starts on March 1; culturally, the spring season seems to start earlier each year (the day after President’s Day in February) ending on the Friday before Memorial Day.
The vernal equinox is used to calculate the date the Christian holiday of Easter falls each year and also, indirectly, the date of the Jewish holiday of Passover. Easter is observed on the first Sunday following the full moon that comes on or after the vernal equinox. The Jewish calendar year begins in late September or early October and is based on twelve lunar months of 29 to 30 days. The new moon marks the beginning of each month with the full moon occurring halfway through the month. The seventh month in a normal Jewish calendar is the month of Nisan. Passover is celebrated on the 14th day of Nisan at the time of the full moon, thus Easter is usually celebrated on the Sunday after the beginning of Passover. However, every two or three years the Jewish calendar requires the adjustment of a leap year. During a Jewish leap year an additional month of 29 days is inserted before the month of Nisan and Passover and Easter will fall a few weeks apart, as is the case this year.
Food for Thought Lecture Series: The New York Times Book of Science with Editor David Corcoran, Wed at 7p
Take a journey through the best scientific stories of our times with Nyack resident and former NYT Science News editor David Corcoran.
David Corcoran, who retired from The New York Times in 2014, was the longtime editor of the weekly Science Times section. Prior to that he was the paper’s education editor and deputy Op-Ed editor, and for a number of years reviewed restaurants in New Jersey. He joined The Times after a 19-year career at The Record in northern New Jersey, where he was the editorial-page editor. This event is free to the public, however, registration is required.
Garden Design for Beginners, Thur at 7p
In this class you will learn how to use the principles of design to plan a garden or to rejuvenate an existing property. The topics will include site evaluation and components of the design process such as the use of color, the role of structure, and characteristics of plants. The “why” and “how” will enable you to apply the principles as you plan a garden. Presented by Chris Shankar, Master Gardener with Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Rockland. Please register online or call (845) 358-3370 x214.
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Did You Know comes to you each Monday on NyackNewAndViews, sponsored by the Nyack Library.