The Start of Fall in the Northern Hemisphere!
The Autumnal (Autumn) Equinox—also called the September or Fall Equinox—is the astronomical start of Fall in the Northern Hemisphere and Spring in the Southern Hemisphere. On the two Equinoxes every year the Sun shines directly on the Equator and the length of day and night is nearly equal – but not exactly. The September Equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator – from north to south and vice versa in March.
Seasons in the Sun!
The Fall and Spring Equinoxes, the seasons, and the changing length of daylight hours throughout the year are all due to one fact: Earth spins on a tilted axis. The tilt — possibly caused by a massive object hitting Earth billions of years ago — means that for half the year, the North Pole is pointed toward the Sun. For the other half of the year, the South Pole gets more light. It’s why we have seasons. Equinox means “equal night.” And during the Equinox, most places on Earth will see approximately 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night.
We are a Reflection of the Universe!
All things must die before they can be reborn, and all spiritual ascent requires descent first. We are a reflection of the Universe that surrounds us, what takes place outside of us, also takes place within us. This means that those who long for the light must first face the darkness within themselves. It is on the Autumnal Equinox, that this stage of inner preparation for enlightenment can begin. We are making way for the return of the Sun on the Winter Solstice, and it’s rebirth on the Spring Vernal Equinox. This is why it is so important to use this time of universal balance to hold gratitude in your heart for the life lessons that have helped you grow, and let go of everything else that does not serve you spiritually.
China and their Moon Festival!
In China the September Equinox is celebrated during the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival. The bounty of summer’s harvest is celebrated and the festivities are rampant with moon cakes, round pastries made from bean paste and other sweet and/or savory ingredients. It is said that having the cakes will bring the eater good luck. Lighting sandalwood sticks, the candles, and lanterns proceeding the age-old chanting, burning paper devils, praying for the family’s safety and prosperity are the basic procedures. Each year when the Mid Autumn Day is approaching, thousands of Chinese people, especially the Han People, will head backs to their homes from all over the country for a family get-together.
Enjoying the Full Harvest!
Head to a local farm to harvest items for a meal to celebrate the arrival of fall. Visit an Apple Orchard, Visit a Pumpkin Patch, or Visit a Corn Maze for harvest dates and how to find a pick your own farm near you. Create a meal from local seasonal foods. Invite your friends and family over to enjoy the Fall Harvest. Have your guests join you in creating a gratitude and/or project list. Decorate your home with fall decor and make a few fall crafts to display. This is a good way to include children in the festivities.
For those who love crafts, it’s a great time to start some fall-inspired crafts. There are all sorts of fall crafts you might like to try. A few ideas include: Carve some shrunken apple heads, make leaf prints, craft a fall wreath, frame fall foliage for decoration and use harvested corn to make corn stalk decorations. For those who love food crafts, fall is the ideal time to get into making preserves, pickles, sauces and frozen goodies. If you’re a photographer, artist or writer, try to capture the essence of fall in photos, artwork or word form. Don’t just focus on the changing leaves and bountiful harvests, consider the deeper meanings of the season as they resonate with you.
The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many…. September is dressing herself in showy dahlias and splendid marigolds and starry zinnias. October, the extravagant sister, has ordered an immense amount of the most gorgeous forest tapestry for her grand reception. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809–1894), “Autumn,” The Atlantic Almanac, 1868.