Vernal translates from Latin to Spring,
Equinox translates from the Latin words aequus, which means equal, and nox, which means night.
Struck. In my novel, the earth was threatened from a ritual performed in Chaco Canyon on the vernal equinox, and whether or not Earth would survive was determined on the next autumnal equinox.
I enjoyed making multiple visits to the Anasazi ruins in Chaco Canyon as I geared up for, wrote, and refined Struck. Like many ancient civilizations, the ancestors of today's Pueblo Indians were very much in tune with the solar and lunar cycles. There are still big events at the ruins in Chaco Canyon to mark the summer solstice, the longest day here in the northern hemisphere and the start of summer. There may be celebrations for the winter solstice and equinoxes as well, but the summer solstice is the flashy one, as I've mentioned in a previous blog.
I still like the equinoxes, though, especially the vernal equinox, or as I like to call it for the rest of the day, today. Buds ready to burst forth with leaves or blossoms, warmer days coming, lots of sunlight. So happy vernal equinox, everyone, and enjoy the spring.