Isn’t the sky beautiful? Early people based holidays on astronomical phenomenon.
Halloween, short for All Hallows’ Eve, is an astronomical holiday. It’s also a more modern day descendant from Samhain, a sacred festival of the ancient Celts and Druids in the British Isles. It is a cross-quarter day, which is probably why Samhain occurred when it did. Early people were keen observers of the sky. A cross-quarter day is a day more or less midway between an equinox (when the sun sets due west) and a solstice (when the sun sets at its most northern or southern point on the horizon). Halloween, October 31st, is approximately midway between the autumn equinox and winter solstice for us in the Northern Hemisphere.
In my futuristic new adult INTERVENUS series, Marchand LaFond and Yardley Van Dyke see the solar system from a different perspective. In A BRAND NEW ADDRESS, they go to Venus. As I wrote their story, I studied data from the International Space Station and information from Earth-Sky. Deborah Byrd is founder and president of this amazing source of information.