Today, September 22 in the Northern hemisphere, the day of the autumnal equinox and the southern spring equinox. Thus, around the globe, excluding the polar regions, the duration of the day and night will be equal. In the Russian capital, the sun rose at 6:14 Moscow time, and come over the horizon at 18:29.
Although “formal” in the days of the vernal and autumnal equinoxes light and dark times of the day should last equally, in fact, the day lasts longer than night. Because of a phenomenon called “atmospheric refraction” the sun’s rays refracted in the Earth’s atmosphere, causing what during sunrise and sunset, the solar disk to the observer is somewhat “lifted” above the horizon. Thus, it seems that the morning comes earlier and the night a little later than it would be if atmospheric refraction did not play a role.
Since the day of the autumnal equinox in many respects marks the onset of autumn, in many countries it is associated with the traditional harvest festivals. In some cultures, to this date (even if not accurate to the day) was timed to coincide with the beginning of a new calendar year — the number of sources says that the XIV-XVII centuries it was Russia.
Folk festivals, timed to the onset of autumn, were often quite ambivalent character — on the one hand, people thanked the forces of nature which were worshipped for the harvest and preparing for the onset of winter, which in folklore is often associated with evil spirits. In Russia for protection against “dark forces” in the day of the autumnal equinox between the window frames inserted thwarted on this day, towering mountain ash brush with the leaves. Also the Rowan branches and decorated the house.
According to some national signs, what the weather will do today depends on what it will be until the end of autumn.
From today the days in the Northern hemisphere will become shorter, and the longest night will have on December 21 — the winter solstice.