Seasons & calendars

Where did the names of the months of the year come from? Why are there seven days in a week? And how are seasons defined? Find out all the answers and more here. Plus, find out how calendars vary among different cultures around the world.

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When is the autumnal equinox, what date does the autumnal equinox fall on and when does summer end? 

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Getting up ‘at the crack of dawn’ is not something enjoyed by many, but for some religions, dawn has a much larger significance. 

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Diwali, also known as Deepawali, is a five day-long festival celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists. It takes place every autumn between October and November, with the date changing every year. 

Mercury and the Crescent Moon © Ben Fernando, Astronomy Photographer of the Year Young Commended 2009

The exact date of Hannukkah changes every year. Find out how the Hebrew calendar works and how it relates to the phases of the Moon.

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When is the winter solstice this year? What does it mean? Is it the shortest or longest day?

Mercury and the Crescent Moon © Ben Fernando, Astronomy Photographer of the Year Young Commended 2009

Observations of the Moon determine the timing of the Islamic year Al Hijra and its months including the holy month of Ramadan. Find out the dates here.

Goodbye Sun, Hello Moon © Ariana Bernal, Astronomy Photographer of the Year Young Runner Up 2013

When - and what - is the summer solstice? 

A Titanium Moon © Miguel Claro

Check the dates for every full Moon throughout the year, and learn about lunar phases, 'supermoons' and more below.

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Why change the clocks, which way should they go, and whose idea was it in the first place? British Summer Time (BST) explained.

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Whether you are a dragon, a monkey or a rat, Chinese New Year is always spectacular and loud. 

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