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July 23, 2022

Rituals come as much from religion as they do from the way Earth spins around the Sun.

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Many of humanity's cultural traditions are based upon the movement of the planet around the Sun. The summer and winter solstices and the spring and autumn equinoxes take on special significance.

The reason these special days exist is because the planet tilts at an angle of roughly 23° on its axis. Without this tilt, there would be no seasons.

The religious and philosophical themes of rebirth and resurrection, therefore, are partially the result of the planet's axial tilt.

Read the video transcript ► bigthink.com/series/explain-it-like-im-smart/earths-tilt/


About Sasha Sagan:
Sasha Sagan is a native of Ithaca, New York and a graduate of NYU. She has worked as a television producer, filmmaker, writer, and speaker in the U.S. and abroad. Her essays and interviews on death, history, and ritual through a secular lens have appeared in The Cut, O, the Oprah Magazine, Literary Hub, Atmos and beyond. She is a contributing editor for the British fashion magazine Violet Book. Sasha regularly speaks on ways science can inform the celebrations and how we mark the passage of time, inspired in part by the work of her parents, Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan.

Read more of the stories on Earth’s rotation:
Ask Ethan: How Long Do We Have Until We Need To Change The Calendar?
Ask Ethan: Are “North” and “South” totally arbitrary on Earth?
► bigthink.com/starts-with-a-bang/north-and-south/
Why Does The Spinning Earth Speed Up If The Tides Are Slowing Down?


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