World Puppetry Day-That’s the way to do it!

World Puppetry Day, takes place annually on March 21. The idea came from the puppet theater Artist Javad Zolfaghari from Iran. In 2000 at the XVIII Congress of the Union Internationale de la Marionnette, (UNIMA) in Magdeburg, he made the proposal for discussion. Two years later, at a meeting of the International Council of UNIMA in June 2002 in Atlanta, the date of the celebration was identified. The first celebration was in 2003. The UNIMA (Union Internationale de la Marionnette – International Puppetry Association) was founded in Prague in 1929 (the then Czechoslovak magazine Loutkář was UNIMA’s first official journal in years 1929-1930). In 1981, the French puppeteer Jacques Félix moved UNIMA’s headquarters to Charleville-Mézières, France, location of the Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes since 1972. UNIMA is affiliated to UNESCO and it is a member of the International Theatre Institute.

The United States largest organisation dedicated to puppetry The Center for Puppetry Arts, is located in Atlanta, is The Center focuses on three areas: performance, education and museum. It is one of the few puppet museums in the world. The Center is located in Midtown, the city’s arts district. It was founded in 1978 by Vincent Anthony. The Center for Puppetry Arts opened to the public on September 23, 1978, when Kermit the Frog and his creator Jim Henson cut the ceremonial ribbon.

A young puppeteer from Florida, Vincent Anthony, began touring with Nicolo Marionettes under the tutelage of Nicholas Coppola-based out of New York City. By 1966, he was ready for a smaller community where he could be an active partner and make a difference. Together with Mitchell Edmonds, with whom he’d worked at Nicolo, they decided to move to Atlanta to create their own company – The Vagabond Marionettes. Vince’s vision was to create a center that would promote puppetry and become a vital part of the community. They created a successful touring company that traveled around the southeast and presented several seasons at Atlanta’s Woodruff Arts Center. In 1978, Anthony found a permanent home in the former Spring Street Elementary School and the Center was born. That first season, the Center mounted an exhibition of puppets, presented shows for adults and families, and hosted community-based workshops and activities that continue to this day. Since opening, the Center has worked to serve the diverse populations of Atlanta, the state of Georgia, and the country at large. The Center reaches the community through its focus on core programming: performance, museum and education.

On July 25, 2007 the Center announced the opening of a new Jim Henson Wing, which houses anywhere from 500 to 700 retired Muppets, including those from Fraggle Rock, The Muppet Show, and Sesame Street. The new wing also includes films, sketches, and other materials from the Jim Henson Company archives. The wing, which is a part of the Center’s new building, opened November 14, 2015. Each year the Center for Puppetry Arts presents the Family Series, a collection of adapted classic stories and new works performed in a variety of puppetry styles by the Center company. Past shows have included an adaptation of The Shoemaker & The Elves set in 1940s Manhattan, Jon Ludwig’s Dinosaurs, and The Ghastly Dreadfuls’ Compendium of Graveyard Tales and Other Curiosities, a Halloween-themed variety show. Family Performances are made up of shows that the Center’s company creates/performs, as well as other artists from around the world. National traveling puppetry troupes set up shop at the Center during SummerFest and perform a variety of works for families. Included with many Family Performances is a Create-A-Puppet workshop that relates to the show. The Center for Puppetry Arts also has the New Directions Series which features teen and adult-oriented shows by Atlanta artists and visiting companies. The New Directions Series are known for being more thought-provoking and visually appealing. Each show has a recommended age limit for those attending. Film Series consists of “classic movies, hidden gems, and contemporary productions.” While they are not performances they are productions related to puppetry.

In addition to presenting productions, the Center offers a variety of classes and workshops for adults and children alike. Create-A-Puppet Workshops, offered in conjunction with Family Series performances, encourage children to build a puppet of their own that is related to the show. Adults can learn more about different aspects of puppetry in the Adult Education Series. And the Distance Learning program reaches students across the U.S. with a virtual field trip experience. Now many programs and workshops are also available online by recorded playback and live webinar. The Center’s also has a museum and special exhibits which present puppets from various time periods and countries around the world. Exhibitions of puppets are considered essential to enhance understanding and appreciation of performances. Puppets: The Power of Wonder is an interactive museum, which provides hands-on educational fun with over 350 puppets from around the world. Puppets in the collection include Wayland Flowers’ Madame, Skeksis from the film The Dark Crystal, two of the mask prototypes created by Julie Taymor for the Broadway smash-hit, The Lion King, and Jim Henson’s Muppets Rowlf the Dog, Ernie, Swedish Chef, Pigs In Space, and Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem.

The Ford Foundation selected the Center as one of 28 national organizations to be recognized for success in management and innovative programs. The Kresge Foundation awarded the Center three different grants to support its capital campaigns. The Center was also the only theater group chosen by the 1996 Olympics to participate in all four years of its arts festival program, garnering recognition from Newsweek as “one of the most exciting companies in American theater.” In 2008, the education department of the Center received the Microsoft Education Award, as a Laureate of the 2008 Tech Museum Awards. The Center has been awarded the UNIMA Citation of Excellence, puppetry’s highest award, 13 distinct times.

Rose Stone (Sly and the Family Stone

Rose Stone (Sly & the Family Stone) was born 21 March 1945. Sly & the Family Stone, played a critical role in the development of soul, funk and psychedelia in the 1960s and 1970s, with songs like “Stand“, “I Want To Take You Higher”, “Sing A Simple Song”, “If You Want Me To Stay“, and “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” In 1993, lead singer Sly Stone was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.FunkadelicAlong with James Brown and Parliament-Funkadelic, Sly & the Family Stone were pioneers of late 1960s and early ’70s funk. Their fusion of R&B rhythms, infectious melodies, and psychedelia created a new pop/soul/ rock hybrid the impact of which has proven lasting and widespread. Motown producer Norman Whitfield, patterned the label’s forays into harder-driving, socially relevant material (such as The Temptations’ “Runaway Child” and “Ball of Confusion”) based on their sound.

The pioneering precedent of Stone’s racial, sexual, and stylistic mix, also had a major influence in the 1980s on artists such as Prince and Rick James. Legions of artists from the 1990s forward — including Public Enemy, Fatboy Slim, Beck and many others — mined Stone’s seminal back catalog for hook-laden samples. After a mildly received debut album, A Whole New Thing (1967), Sly & The Family Stone had their first hit single with “Dance to the Music“, which was later included on an album of the same name (1968). their third album, Life (also 1968), suffered from low sales, however their fourth album, Stand! (1969), became a runaway success, selling over three million copies and spawning a number one hit single, “Everyday People“. By the summer of 1969, Sly & The Family Stone were one of the biggest names in music, releasing three more top five singles, “Hot Fun in the Summertime” and “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” / “Everybody Is a Star”, and appearing at Woodstock.

Sadly The band’s new found fame and success cuased numerous problems. Relationships within the band deteeriorated there was friction in particular between the Stone brothers & Bass player Larry Graham. After moving to the Los Angeles area in fall 1969, Stone and his bandmates became heavy users of illegal drugs, the members became increasingly focused on drug use and partying (Stone carried a violin case filled with illegal drugs wherever he went). Between summer 1969 and fall 1971, the band released only one single, which was one of the first recordings to employ the heavy, funky beats that would be featured in the funk music of the following decade. It showcased Graham’s innovative percussive playing technique of bass “slapping”. Stone’s behavior also became increasingly erratic. a Greatest Hits album was released November 1971 One year later, the band’s fifth album, There’s a Riot Goin’ On, was released. Riot featured a much darker sound as most tracks were recorded with overdubbing as opposed to The Family Stone all playing at the same time as they had done previously. Stone played most of the parts himself and performed more of the lead vocals than usual.

It was also the first major label album to feature a drum machine. The band’s cohesion and popularity declined as did. Live bookings for Sly & the Family Stone which had also steadily dropped since 1970. The final straw came In January 1975, after the band booked itself at Radio City Music Hall. The famed music hall was only one-eighth occupied, and Stone and company had to scrape together money to return home, Following the Radio City engagement, the band split .On Sunday, January 14, 2007 Stone made a short guest appearance at a show of The New Family Stone band he supports at the House of Blues. On April 1, 2007, Stone appeared with the Family Stone at the Flamingo Las Vegas Showroom, after George Wallace’s standup act. On July 7, 2007 Stone also made a short appearance with the Family Stone at the San Jose, CA Summerfest.

On Labor Day, September 7, 2009, Stone emerged at the 20th annual African Festival of the Arts in Chicago, Ill. He performed a 15 minute set during George Clinton’s Performance. He performed his popular hits along with George Clinton’s band. He left immediately after his short performance. On December 6, 2009, Sly signed a new recording contract with the LA based Cleopatra Records and on August 16, 2011, I’m Back! Family & Friends was released, the first Sly Stone album since 1982′s Ain’t But the One Way. The album features re-recorded versions of Sly & the Family Stone’s greatest hits with guest appearances from Jeff Beck, Ray Manzarek, Bootsy Collins, Ann Wilson, Carmine Appice and Johnny Winter, as well as three previously unreleased songs.

International Day of Forests

International Day of Forests, is observed annually on 21 March. It was observed for the first time on March 21, 2013, following a resolution by the United Nations General Assembly on November 28, 2012 calling for a day to be held each year celebrating forests. The occasion is intended to be a global platforms from which to inform people with an interest in forests and climate change regarding the issues facing forests and for people to share their views  and ensure that the needs of forests are suitably incorporated into any future climate change mitigation and adaption strategies.

Each year more than 13 million hectares (32 million acres) of forests are lost, an area roughly the size of England. As the forests disappear so do the plant and animal species that they support – 80% of all terrestrial biodiversity. forests also play a critical role in climate change including global warming: deforestation results in 12-18 percent of the world’s carbon emissions – almost equal to all the CO2 from the global transport sector. equally crucial, healthy forests are one of the world’s primary ‘carbon sinks.Today, forests cover more than 30% of the world’s land and contain more than 60,000 tree species, many as of yet unidentified.forests provide food, fiber, water and medicines for approximately 1.6 billion of the world’s poorest people, including indigenous peoples with unique cultures.

Prior to the launching of International Day of Forests in 2012 were two closely related international commemorations: World Forestry Day (established in 1971 by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization), and Forest Day (convened by the Center for International Forestry Research from 2007-2012). World Forestry Day was established In November 1971, after the “States members” at the 16th session of the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization, voted to establish “World Forestry Day” on March 21 of each year. Forest Day was established by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) who convened a series of six Forest Days, in conjunction with annual meetings of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties. CIFOR organized these events on behalf of and in close cooperation with other members of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF).

The immediate impetus for these events was a casual conversation in Oxford, England, in February 2007, between two scientists who felt the world was underestimating the importance of forests in mitigating carbon emissions and saw a glaring need for the latest forestry research and thinking to inform global policy makers and UNFCCC negotiators. They did not foresee that the conference would become one of the most influential global events on forests and climate change today.

Ayrton Senna

Generally regarded as one of the greatest F1 drivers to have raced, the Brazilian driver & three-time Formula One world champion Ayrton Senna was born 21 March 1960 in Santana near Sao Paulo. he began his motorsport career in karting, moving up to open-wheel racing in 1981, and winning the British Formula 3 championship in 1983. He made his Formula One debut with Toleman-Hart in 1984 before moving to Lotus-Renault the following year and winning six Grands Prix over the next three seasons. In 1988, he joined Frenchman Alain Prost at McLaren-Honda.

Between them, they won all but one of the 16 Grands Prix that year and Senna his first World Championship. Prost claimed the championship in 1989, and Senna his second and third championships in 1990 and 1991. In 1992, the Williams-Renault combination began to dominate Formula One. Senna nonetheless managed to finish the 1993 season as runner-up, winning five races and negotiating a move to Williams in 1994. Senna was recognised for his qualifying speed over one lap and from 1989 until 2006 held the record for most pole positions. He was especially quick in wet conditions, as shown by his performances in the 1984 Monaco Grand Prix, the 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix, and the 1993 European Grand Prix. He also holds the record for most victories at the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix – six – and is the third most successful driver of all time in terms of race wins.

Although immensely successful Senna also courted controversy throughout his career, particularly during his turbulent rivalry with Alain Prost. Both the 1989 Championship won by Prost and the 1990 Championship won by Senna were decided by collisions between them at those years’ Japanese Grands Prix. Sadly though Ayrton Senna was tragically killed on 1st May 1994 at the peak of his career in a crash at Tamburello corner while leading the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix at Imola.

Roger Hodgson (Supertramp)

Roger Hodgson the former lead singer of Supertramp was born 21st March 1950. Supertramp formed in 1969 under the name ”Daddy” before renaming themselves in early 1970. Though their music was initially categorised as progressive rock, they have since incorporated a combination of traditional Rock, pop and art rock into their music. The band’s work is marked by the inventive songwriting of Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson, the distinctive voice of Hodgson, and the prominent use of Wurlitzer electric piano and saxophone in their songs.

IT WAS THE BEST OF TIMES http://youtu.be/SpAT6ruDvbA

While the band’s early work was mainstream progressive rock they would enjoy greater critical and commercial success when they incorporated more conventional and radio-friendly elements into their work in the mid-1970s, going on to sell more than 60 million albums. They reached their peak of commercial success with 1979′s Breakfast in America, which has sold more than 20 million copies.Though their albums were generally far more successful than their singles, Supertramp did enjoy a number of major hits throughout the 1970s and 1980s, including “Bloody Well Right”, “Give a Little Bit”, “The Logical Song”, “Goodbye Stranger”, “Take the Long Way Home”, “Dreamer”, “Breakfast in America”, “It’s Raining Again”, and “Cannonball”. The band attained significant popularity in the United States, Canada, Europe, South Africa and Australia With classic albums like Breakfast in America and It Was the Best of Times. Since Hodgson’s departure in 1983, founder Rick Davies has led the band by himself.

World Poetry Day/Downs Syndrome/ Racial Discrimination

World Poetry day was set up by the United Nations Education Scientific And Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 21March 1999 and has been held annually since then, in order to promote reading, writing, publishing an teaching of poetry throughout the world and to “give fresh recognition and impetus to national, regional and international poetry movements” and support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to also offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their own communities.

World Poetry Day is also meant to support poetry, encourage a return to the oral tradition of poetry recitals, and to promote teaching poetry and restore a dialogue between poetry and the other arts such as theatre, dance, music, painting and so on, it is also designed to support small publishers and create an attractive image of poetry in the media so that the art of poetry will no longer be considered an outdated form of art but one which contributes to creative diversity.
World Poetry Day is also an invitation to reflect on the power of language and the full development of each person’s creative abilities and to encourage the free flow of ideas by word, creativity and innovation by questioning anew our use of words and things, our modes of perception and understanding of the world. Through its associations, its metaphors and its own grammar, and to promote the idea that poetic language is another facet of the dialogue among cultures.

International Down Syndrome Day

World Down Syndrome Day is observed on 21 March and has been officially marked by the United Nations since 2012. On this day, people with Down syndrome and those who live and work with them throughout the world organize and participate in activities and events to raise public awareness and create a single global voice for advocating for the rights, inclusion and well being of people with Down syndrome. Many of these events are recorded on the official World Down Syndrome Day website. However there is still so much more we can do.Down Syndrome International encourages people all over the World to choose themes, activities and events to help raise awareness of what Down syndrome is, what it means to have Down syndrome, and how people with Down syndrome play a vital role in our lives and communities.

Down syndrome is a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement that has always been a part of the human condition, being universally present across racial, gender or socio-economic lines, and affecting approximately 1 in 800 live births, although there is considerable variation worldwide. Down syndrome usually causes varying degrees of intellectual and physical disability and associated medical issues. The date for WDSD being the 21st day of the 3rd month, was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome. The original idea was proposed by members of the European Down Syndrome Association and Down Syndrome International. WDSD was first observed in 2006 in many countries around the world and Down Syndrome Association Singapore launched and hosted the World Down Syndrome Day website from 2006-2010, on behalf of Down Syndrome International, for global activities to be recorded.

Since 2011, Down Syndrome International (DSi) has co-ordinated the World Down Syndrome Day website and the WDSD Global Video Event “Let Us In!” (see 2012 Event “Let Us In – I Want to Learn!”). In 2012, DSi organized the first WDSD Conference held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, USA on 21 March (see 2012 “Building Our Future” Conference) which was sponsored by the Brazilian Mission and Polish Mission to the United Nations, UN Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and UNICEF and was organized in collaboration with the Brazilian Federation of Associations of Down Syndrome, Down España, National Down Syndrome Congress, National Down Syndrome Society, Down Syndrome Research and Treatment Foundation, and Global Down Syndrome Foundation. The Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon also said on 21 March 2012 “On this day, let us reaffirm that persons with Down syndrome are entitled to the full and effective enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms. Let us each do our part to enable children and persons with Down syndrome to participate fully in the development and life of their societies on an equal basis with others. Let us build an inclusive society for all.” Down Syndrome International also announced that the World Down Syndrome Day Awards would be held every year on 21 March.

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21 March. To mark the anniversary. Of 21st March 1960, when police opened fire and killed 69 people who were at a peaceful demonstration against Apartheid in Sharpeville, South Africa. Proclaiming the day in 1966, the United Nations General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination, and In 1966 the United Nations declared the first Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to commemorate the protesters who had been killed. This year, celebrations will be marked by two major events in the framework of the International Coalition of Cities against Racism, an initiative launched by UNESCO in March 2004 to establish a network of cities interested in sharing experiences in order to improve their policies to fight racism, discrimination, xenophobia and
Exclusion.

In North America, the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination (CCMARD) has officially launched its “Toolkit for Municipalities, Organizations and Citizens”, which provides practical information to support the work of municipalities and their partners in strengthening their local initiatives and policies against racism and discrimination. In Asia, the Coalition of Cities against Discrimination in Asia and the Pacific will hold an International Conference under the theme “Creative Cities for Glocal (Global + Local) Security and Peace”, during the World Human Rights Cities Forum in Gwangju (Republic of Korea) in May.

World Story telling Day/International Day of Happiness/International Astrology Day

World Storytelling Day takes place on March 20th and is a global celebration of the art of oral storytelling. It is celebrated every year on the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere, the first day of autumn equinox in the southern. On World Storytelling Day, as many people as possible tell and listen to stories in as many languages and at as many places as possible, during the same day and night. Participants tell each other about their events in order to share stories and inspiration to learn from each other and create international contacts.The significance in the event lies in the fact that it is the first global celebration of storytelling of its kind, and has been important in forging links between storytellers often working far apart from each other. It has also been significant in drawing public and media attention to storytelling as an art form.

World Storytelling Day has its roots in a national day for storytelling in Sweden, circa 1991 At that time, an event was organized for March 20 in Sweden called “Alla berättares dag” (All storytellers day). The Swedish national storytelling network passed out some time after, but the day stayed alive, celebrated around the country by different enthusiasts. In 1997, storytellers in Perth, Western Australia coordinated a five-week long Celebration of Story, commemorating March 20 as the International Day of Oral Narrators. At the same time, in Mexico and other South American countries, March 20 was already celebrated as the National Day of Storytellers.

When the Scandinavian storytelling web-network, Ratatosk, started around 2001, Scandinavian storytellers started talking, and in 2002, the event spread from Sweden to Norway, Denmark, Finland and Estonia. In 2003, the idea spread to Canada and other countries, and the event has become known internationally as World Storytelling Day. Starting around 2004, France participated with the event Jour Mondial du Conte. World Storytelling Day 2005 had a grande finale on Sunday March 20. There were events from 25 countries on 5 continents, and 2006 saw the program grow further. 2007 was the first time a storytelling concert was held in Newfoundland, Canada. In 2008 The Netherlands took part in World Storytelling Day with a big event called ‘Vertellers in de Aanval’ on March the 20th; three thousand kids were surprised by the sudden appearance of storytellers in their classrooms.In 2009, there were World Storytelling Day events in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, South America and Australia, and The theme for the 2013 World Srorytelling Day is Fortune and Fate

International Day of Happiness

The date 20th March has been designated ‘International Day of Happiness’. It was organised by the United Nations and ‘Action for Happiness’ to highlight the importance of wellbeing in a world that is otherwise dominated by financial woes, relentless self-interest and laborious daily routines. Although a dedicated “day of happiness” may sound like a lovely idea in theory, you may find yourself wondering: what can I do to celebrate the occasion and make the world around me a happier place? Our own sources of happiness can vary; you may be tempted to go out for a delicious meal, embark on a shopping spree, or even just laze around all day and relax. But the main focus of the International Day of Happiness is to direct our kindness towards others – and make both them and ourselves happy in the process.

Some may find themselves momentarily happier when somebody performs an act of kindness to help those around them. Likewise, it can cheer you up if you do something which makes someone else happy. That’s not to say that our kindness is motivated by self-interest; it’s just a nice by-product of our actions and the smallest of positive actions can have a major impact on yourself and those around you. Extensive research also shows that making other people happy activates the same reward sensors in your brain, so it’s a win-win situation. Even if you just hold a door open for someone, spare some change or simply smile at someone in the street, it can really make a difference. These ideas may seem trivial but they can transform our psychological health. Businesses should do more to prioritise the happiness of their workers too. It’s been proven that the happier an employee is, the more likely they are to be motivated, productive, and form good working relationships.Here are three suggestions for a happier life:

A – Affirm the pledge. A simple act of adding your name to the thousands of others who have declared that they will “try to create more happiness in the world” around them.
C – Cheer ‘Happy Heroes’. Spreading the word on social network sites and paying tribute to those who go out of their way to make other people happy. Twitter users are encouraged to use the hashtag #HappyHeroes in their tweets.
T – Take part on the day. In addition to making others happy, there are numerous events going on around the world to celebrate the day, including a ‘positive messages’ flash mob at Liverpool Street Station on Wednesday evening.

InternationalAstrology Day

The annual International Astrology Day 2013, is observed on March 20th, and is celebrated by astrologers and astrology enthusiasts. It is seen by astrologers as the beginning (first day) of the astrological year. It is the first full day of the astrological sign of Aries and thus marks the beginning of the tropical Zodiac.International Astrology Day is celebrated/observed depending on the exact day that the Northward equinox actually occurs (Spring equinox in the Northern hemisphere, Fall equinox in the Southern hemisphere). This varies year to year between March 19–22, though it usually falls on March 20 or March 21.The date of the holiday occurs at the same time of the Iranian new year (Norouz), which is celebrated in many places throughout the Middle East and Central Asia. It also corresponds with the beginning of the Bahá’í calendar, which is celebrated as Bahá’í Naw-Rúz. Other holidays occurring around this time include Ostara (amongst neopagans), Chunfen in China, and Vernal Equinox Day (a public holiday in Japan), among others.

The Northward equinox (or March equinox) is the equinox on the earth when the Sun appears to cross the celestial equator, heading northward. The Northward equinox is the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and the autumnal equinox in the Southern Hemisphere. It is also The point where the horizon crosses the sun’s disk at the celestial equator northwards is called the first point of Aries. However, due to the precession of the equinoxes, this point is no longer in the constellation Aries, but rather in Pisces. By the year 2600 it will be in Aquarius (hence the phrase “the dawning of the Age of Aquarius”). The Northward equinox passed from Taurus into Aries 1865 BC, and passed into Pisces in year 67 BC, will pass into Aquarius in year 2597, and Capricorn in 4312. The equinox can be as early as March 19 or as late as March 21, the precise time being about 5 hours 49 minutes later in a common year, and about 18 hours 11 minutes earlier in a leap year, than in the previous year. It is the balance of common years and leap years that keeps the calendar date of the equinox from drifting more than a day from 20 March each year.

During the equinox, the horizon crosses the sun’s disk directly in the east at dawn and crosses directly in the west at dusk. However, because of refraction the horizon will usually appear slightly below the sun at the moment when its “true” middle is rising or setting. For viewers at the north or south poles, the horizon moves virtually horizontally along or below the sun, not obviously rising or sinking apart from the movement in “declination” (and hence altitude) of a little under a half (0.39) degree per day. For observers in either hemisphere not at the poles, the further one goes in time away from the March equinox in the 3 months before that equinox, the more to the south the Sun is seen, and for the 3 months afterwards the sun is seen more and more to the north. It is one point in time commonly used to determine the length of the tropical year. The length of the Northward equinox solar year is relatively stable in the time from 6000 BC to 10000 CE at 47:37 to 49:20 in excess of 365 days and 5 hours. However When tropical year measurements from several successive years are compared, variations are found which are due to nutation, and to the planetary perturbations acting on the Sun.

The March Equinox also has an effect on the calender and traditions, for instance The Persian Calendar begins each year at the Northward equinox, observationally determined at Tehran. The Indian National Calendar starts the year on the day next to the Vernal Equinox on March 22 (March 21 in leap years) with a 30-day month (31 days in leap years), then has 5 months of 31 days followed by 6 months of 30 days.The Julian calendar reform lengthened seven months and replaced the intercalary month with an intercalary day to be added every four years to February. It was based on a length for the year of 365 days and 6 hours (365.25 d), while the tropical year is about 11 minutes and 14 seconds less than that. This had the effect of adding about three quarters of an hour every four years. The effect accumulated from 325 until by the 16th century, when the northern vernal equinox fell on March 10 or 11. In Abrahamic traditionThe Jewish Passover usually falls on the first full moon after the Northern Hemisphere vernal equinox, although occasionally (7 times every 19 years) it will occur on the second full moon.The Christian churches calculate Easter as the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the March equinox. The official church definition for the equinox is March 21; however, as the Eastern Orthodox Churches use the older Julian calendar, while the Western Churches use the Gregorian calendar, both of which designate March 21 as the equinox, the actual date of Easter differs. The earliest possible Easter date in any year is therefore March 22 on each calendar. The latest possible Easter date in any year is April 25th.