Spring is finally starting to sprout here in the Midwest! Let’s commemorate the occasion by reviewing the guidelines for when to capitalize seasons, solstices, and equinoxes.
Guideline 1: Lowercase general references to seasons, solstices, and equinoxes unless they start a sentence.1
Tomorrow we’ll start the spring cleaning.
Let’s go hiking in celebration of the autumn equinox!
Guideline 2: Capitalize references to seasons, solstices, and equinoxes if they’re part of a proper noun.2
Chicago hosts many exciting summer festivals, including the Chinatown Summer Fair.
Bob got sunburned at the Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Celebration.
Guideline 3: Capitalize seasonal references when citing periodicals in footnotes, endnotes, and bibliographies (if the periodicals aren’t published by month or volume number).3
2. Jeckle Wright, “History of the Cat Treat,” Journal of Feline Cuisine 27 (Winter 2013): 156-59.
5. Heckle Wright, “That’s My Hairball,” Cat Psychology Quarterly 51 (Autumn 1974): 95-102.
In case you’re wondering, I took the tulip photo near the historic Chicago Water Tower.
Further Reading: When Should You Capitalize Historical Time Periods?
1. The Associated Press Stylebook 2019 (New York: Associated Press, 2019), 258; The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017), 8.88.
2. The Associated Press Stylebook 2019 (New York: Associated Press, 2019), 258.
3. The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010), 8.88, 14.171; The samples in Guideline 3 are examples of endnotes and footnotes according to The Chicago Manual of Style.