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Smash a Pumpkin for Luck

Smash a Pumpkin for Luck

Posted: September 23, 2013

Who couldn’t use a little luck? Come and sign the pumpkin that will be the star of the annual Fall Equinox Pumpkin Drop, Tuesday, September 24, between 1:00 and 1:30 p.m.

For all the millennia that Homo sapiens have walked the planet Earth, the celestial events that mark the change of seasons have been celebrated. “The annual pumpkin drop is a way to bring students in touch with natural events that affect us as much as they ever did, even though we don’t pay as much attention to them,” said Stephen Vermette, meteorologist, climatologist, and professor of geography and planning. Vermette, incidentally, is the one who’s promising that signing the pumpkin will bring you good luck as we move into the darkest part of the year.

“I can add that the Bengal mascot will make an appearance this year, and that we will be dropping two pumpkins,” said Vermette. “There is no specific reason to drop two pumpkins, other than the thought that if dropping one is a lot of fun, then dropping two will be more fun.”

Vermette and the Meteorology and Climatology Club have been holding this pumpkin drop for many years, making it a campus tradition that—along with free cider and cookies—always draws a crowd. The event marks the fall equinox, which took place this year on Sunday, September 22, at precisely 4:44 p.m. eastern time.

The equinox is the day the sun crosses the equinox, dividing the day evenly between daytime and nighttime. After the fall equinox, daylight in the Northern Hemisphere is shorter than the night, a state of affairs that continues until the vernal, or spring, equinox.

Stop by the back of the Classroom Building, sign the pumpkin, and stand back to see what happens when it’s dropped from the top of the four-story building. “I suppose we could say it’s a lesson in gravity, too,” said Vermette.

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