Equinox and Solstice names Down Under?

I could easily Google this, but sometimes I prefer to get things from people who should know in communities I participate in - and get away from the constant clickbait that is now proliferating the major search sites!

In the Northern Hemisphere, these events, defined scientifically by orbital mechanics, mark the beginning of the seasons. The Summer Solstice is in late June, Autumnal (Fall) Equinox in late September, Winter Solstice in late December, and Vernal (Spring) Equinox in late March.

Are these “flipped” South of the Equator? As in, Summer Solstice is in late December, Autumnal Equinox in late March, Winter Solstice in late June, and Vernal Equinox in late September?

I know the seasons themselves are “flipped” (comparted to those of us who live “Up Over” - digression: Is “Up Over” the correct opposite of “Down Under”? Does anyone actually say “Up Over”?)

Or do you use the names on the dates as we name them North of the Equator?

I’m especially interested in comments from Forum members from the Southern Hemisphere!

The dates are the same for the whole globe. Solstices reflect the date when the Sun is at its most extreme positions north or south of the equator, and equinoxes the date when the midday sun is at the zenith on the Equator.


yep, equinox is straight latin for “equal night”, for obvious reasons
solstice means something like “standing sun”, for a few days the day/night rhythm doesn’t change.

as far as I know, yes, countries down south will use summer in decembre and winter in june.
In france, since we have places on both sides of the equator, we’ll use summer and austral summer to differentiate.

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I agree with everything you said - and I already knew all of it!

What I’m not clear on is how the local solstices/equinoxes are referred to in local parlance South of the Equator!

Right now, May 26,2024, the next event of this type will be an Equinox near the end of June. I’m in the Northern Hemisphere (California, US) - and we call this one the Summer Solstice. Will people in the Southern Hemisphere call it the Summer Solstice, Winter Solstice, or sumething else?

well no.
the next event of this type will not be an equinox. it will be a solstice. :slight_smile:
For southerners, the winter solstice, for northerners the summer one.

Wikipedia even has an article about it :

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Serves me right for making my previous reply before my morning coffee! In my mind, I knew (and still know) that the June and December events are points of maximum daylight/darkness (depending on your hemisphere) and hence are Soltstices. - not Equinoxes. I guess the neural pathways between my head and my fingers (when typing) are caffeine dependent for correct operation. And that my “remember to double check/proofread your posts” cognitive encoding also depends on sufficient caffeine.

Thanks for finding that Wikipedia article. As I intimated in the opening post on the topic, when I posted it, I was disinclined to do ANY web search - for reasons not worth mentioning here.

From the Wikipedia, I like the idea of calling the June Solstice the “Northern Solstice” - as - and likewise the December Solstice the “Southern Solstice” as those terms denote the point at with the Sun is farthest North/South in the sky - no matter where the observer is on Earth. Using Northern/Southern is inclusive of people who use calendars where the individual events can occur in different months in different years.

Hoping some creative soul out in the world somewhere can come up with NON Calendar based terms for the Equinoxes that are likewise independant of the observer’s location.

And no apologies from me for the length - and tangents - of this comment! It’s my nature to be long and rambling, and I usually reign in that tendency in most forums, but as this post is in the “Corner Bar”, I’ve relaxed and let my inner rambler through!

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On a tangent I as a hobby love Analemma sundials. If you search them you see a lot incorporated into architecture. My customers are always impressed at how sketchup shows real shadows for the home and its certainly a design consideration. We can use low solar angles in winter to help warm a building. If anyone is interested there is an app called shadows that will calculate an Analemma sundial for your Lat/Lon they can be placed on walls or I like a landscape feature that is like a mini stone henge in your own yard.