The History of the Autumn Equinox

adobestock_1452913-minThe autumn equinox marks an important time in the year. It occurs when the northern hemisphere moves further from the sun, making the nights longer. It is an often-ignored day, but it actually has been celebrated throughout history. Check out some information about the autumn equinox, so you can help your community celebrate!

What Is the Autumn Equinox?

Originally, the autumn equinox marked the new year on the French Republican Calendar, but that calendar was only used very briefly. Now, the autumn equinox, which falls on September 22nd or 23rd, is the beginning of fall. The term “equinox” has Latin roots: aequus and nox, which translates to “equal night.” This is because on this day, the day is exactly as long as the night. The autumn equinox is also often associated with the harvest, because it marks the end of the summer harvest. There is also a spring equinox. Similarly, on this day, the day and night are the same length, but after the spring equinox, days become longer, and after the autumn equinox, nights become longer.

What Is the Spiritual Meaning of the Autumn Equinox?

The autumn equinox (as well as the spring equinox, summer solstice and winter solstice) are often considered spiritually significant days for many people. This is because these days are heavily associated with the sun, which is considered good/light, and many religions have claimed that an incarnation of the sun has been born into a physical person: Jesus, Dionysus, Odin, Horus and other gods or deities. As a side note, these religions also acknowledge that there is a counter-side: the night/darkness. This darkness is represented in other figures in history: Lucifer, Seth, Xolotl, etc.

How Do People Celebrate the Autumn Equinox?

Different cultures and countries have different ways to celebrate the autumn equinox. In ancient Greece, the autumn equinox was when Persephone returned to the underworld, and they celebrated by enacting rituals for protection. In China, they celebrate a Moon Festival around the autumn equinox, which honors the summer’s harvest. In Japan, the autumn equinox is a national holiday, and the Japanese celebrate by honoring the dead.

During the autumn equinox, get your community involved in fun community events. Hold a picnic or feast to celebrate the summer’s harvest, or a party to observe the arrival of fall. Get started today by planning something for the whole community.

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