Celtic Calendar

Like many stone circles, Foxhenge is closely tied to the cycles of the seasons. The ancient Celts recognised the markers of the seasons and made them into the basis for their calendar; they still influance our modern calendar today.

As the Earth orbits the Sun, its tilt on its axis causes different parts of the planet to be angled more directly toward the Sun. In the northern hemisphere, where Foxhenge is located, we catch the Sun’s rays most directly in the summer, giving us longer days and hotter temperatures. In the winter, the southern hemisphere is pointed toward the sun, so we northerners have colder temperatures and hotter days.

The days at which the tilt is most extreme—meaning that half of the world has their longest day of the year, while the other half has their shortest—are called the solstices, which comes from the Latin for “sun standing.”

In between the solstices, there are two days when day and night are exactly equal. They are called equinoxes, which means “equal night” in Latin.

All together, there are a total of four special days:

The National Weather Service provides diagrams and more information, along with exact dates of equinoxes and solstices. These dates are also printed on most calendars.