This year, September Equinox falls on September 22nd 2016.
If you want to get some more information about March Equinox, then you can read up on it here.
In this article, however, we want to concentrate on September Equinox instead of the equivalent from spring. Read more about the different dates, customs and other information.
What’s September Equinox?
An equinox is an astronomical event in which the plane of Earth's equator passes through the center of the Sun.
This means that the sun is crossing the celestial equator from the north to the south. The effect of this is that, on this day, day and night have (almost) the same length. They both last more or less 12 hours. This phenomena occurs on both the Southern and the Northern hemisphere. Now, in September, the fall equinox takes place on the Northern part of earth while spring equinox will be celebrated on the Southern half.
When Is It?
September equinox occurs every year between the 21st and 24th of September.
This year, September equinox is on the 22nd. While the date is fixed, at least for this year, the time zones make it so the exact time differs across the continents. For the exact time and day of your time zone you can check here.
Equinox Customs & Traditions
The customs and traditions of the September equinox differ from country to country and across the different cultures. This day is not regarded as a national or international holiday, neither as a religious one. Most traditions still come from older civilizations like the Romans.
For example, the Romans celebrated fall equinox to praise Pomona, the goddess of crops and fruits. Based on this, the equinox is still the time around when most European harvest festivals take place.
In China, fall equinox is part of the Mid-Autumn Festival. This harvest festival is better known as the Moon Festival in which the summer’s harvest is celebrated with moon shaped cookies and pastries.
In Neopaganism, fall equinox is still a crucial holiday and day for festivity. In the Northern hemisphere, celebrations related to Mabon, a pagan version of thanksgiving. According to the Wheel of the Year, it is only the second of three major harvest festivals, the first one being Lughnasadh and the one following Mabon being Samhain that we all associate strongly with Halloween nowadays.
On the Northern hemisphere, fall equinox leaves behind it’s traces in nature as well. It’s becoming obvious that summer is ending. Birds are migrating to the south, leaves are turning yellow and red, and the sun wanders the sky in a arch more towards the south. The weather is getting more chilly and animals start growing out their winter coats.
You can also witness Fomalhaut, a star often called Autumn Star or The Loneliest Star, wandering over the night sky.
Overall, the time around September equinox should be a time to thank summer, but also bid it farewell. It’s time to embrace autumn with its rich colors.