First Day of Fall - September 23, 2023

First Day of Fall
Last Updated on: 25 Nov 2022

What is The First Day of Fall?

The First Day of Fall foreshadows the start of the Autumn season. Along with that, a remarkable astronomical phenomenon takes place. This day is all about equality and balance for a reason. On this day and the other equinox, the Earth experiences an equal amount of daylight and night. 

So this day is named September Equinox, Fall Equinox, and Autumnal Equinox, while the other goes by many names, including Spring Equinox.

History of the First Day of Fall

The First Day of Fall has historical significance across countries and civilizations.

1. Reunion

According to Greek Mythology: This day marks the union of the goddess Persephone and her husband, the underworld ruler, Hades. They were reunited upon the goddess's return to the underworld.

2. Higan

According to the Japanese: Higan is celebrated twice yearly during the Equinoxes by several Japanese Buddhists. 

3. Equinox and the Harvest Moon 

According to the Chinese: The Harvest Moon is the full moon that arises on the First Day of Fall, and the celebration and festivities are all surrounding that Harvest Moon. It does not have any specific date, although the full moon can be observed for a few evenings and nights following the Autumnal Equinox.

4. Mabon

According to Modern Paganism: The First Day of Fall marks Mabon, a feast celebrating Earth's wonders and a prosperous and bountiful autumn harvest.

What is an Equinox? 

First day of fall

“Equinox” is derived from the Latin words  ‘Aequi’ and ‘Nox.’ The first one means equal, and the latter means "night." It is when the Sun is precisely above the equator, and the Sun's rays fall directly on it.

As a phenomenon of the Fall Equinox, the day and night are of equal duration on that particular day, that is, 12 Hours of the day and 12 Hours of night. 

As fall passes and winter approaches, changes can be observed around everywhere. The temperature seems to cool down, the birds start to migrate, and much more. But most important is the shortening of daytime.

These phenomena are crucial to track, especially for the agricultural industry, as it provides information on when to plant crops.

Countries that Observe the First Day of Fall

The autumnal equinox is observed as the "Mid-Autumn Festival" or "Moon Festival" by people in Asian cultures. They celebrate the harvest and enjoy each other's company.

In Japan, the First Day of Fall is called 'Shūbun-no-hi.' It has been a national holiday since 1948. On the day of the Autumnal Equinox, Japanese people visit the graves of departed relatives, pay tribute to them, and have family reunions.

El Catillo is a Mayan Temple situated in Chichén Itzá, Mexico. This temple was built to worship the serpent gods. Every year, thousands gather to see the Snake of Sunlight. At the exact time of the equinox, the Sunlight falls on the stairs as if a snake made of Sunlight is slithering down the temple stairs.

How is the First Day of Fall Celebrated?

There are many more ways to celebrate this celestial event, such as :

  • Invite all of your gardening mates over for a harvest potluck, and ask them to bring some fresh from their gardens.
  • Walking to connect yourself with nature, a hike around the woods, and crushing the crunchy leaves as you stroll around is never disappointing. 
  • Travel to Chichén Itzá, Mexico, to see The Snake of Sunlight or Stonehenge see the equinox sunrise.
  • One can learn from different cultures how to celebrate, such as baking mooncakes, practicing meditation, or paying respects to loved ones' graves.
  • Make treats and dishes with the tanginess and savory of pumpkin spice.

Some Interesting Facts on the First Day of Fall

Here are some interesting facts about the first day of fall:

  • The First Day of Fall has its roots embedded in cultures and civilizations worldwide. It is celebrated all across the world by many names.
  • Harvest Moon is one of the two astronomical terms related to the moon but is unrelated to any particular month.
  • According to Psychologists, some people have equinox-obsessive personalities (EOP).
  • Instead of relying on astronomical events or particular dates, meteorologists deduct changes in season or the advent of fall by measuring changes in average temperature.

Quotes on the First Day of Fall

"Autumn has caught us in our summer wear." Philip Larkin, British poet (1922–86)

"It is the summer’s great last heat, It is the fall’s first chill: They meet." Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt

Conclusion

Now that you have a better understanding of Autumnal Equinox Day, I hope I was able to get you excited enough to look forward to it next year. Celebrate this remarkable astronomical event because it only comes twice a year.

If you and your friends try to balance eggs according to tradition, be careful. Eggs can get messy and troublesome when you break them, which you will rest assured of!

FAQ

1. On the Equinox, are Day and Night Exactly Equal?

Ans. There are observations that daytime and nighttime are equal, but it all depends on your geological position. If not equal, it may differ by some minutes.

2. Can An Egg Be Balanced Perfectly On the Equinox?

Ans. No and Yes. It can be a fun activity to try in any location, but the balancing part does not rely on the Equinox event only. 

3. Which is correct? Fall or Autumn?

Ans. Fall is an American English term, whereas Autumn is British, but both mean the same.v

First Day of Fall Observances

Year Weekday Date Name
2021 Wednesday 22 September First Day of Fall
2022 Thursday 22 September First Day of Fall
2023 Saturday 23 September First Day of Fall
2024 Sunday 22 September First Day of Fall
2025 Monday 22 September First Day of Fall
2026 Wednesday 23 September First Day of Fall

We constantly update the dates of holidays that keep changing every year. However, while we revise and change some dates to be accurate, if you find any errors, kindly inform us . That will mean a lot to us.

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