First Day of Autumn falls on September 23 this year. When the autumnal equinox arrives in September each year, we greet the arrival of the autumn season. In North America, the autumn season is called ‘fall.’ The autumnal equinox is not on the same day each year, though it always falls between September 21 and 24, and it marks the first day of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. The autumnal equinox coincides with the fall harvest, and many ancient harvest celebrations occur on or around the fall equinox. Daylight hours will diminish for us in the Northern Hemisphere as the sun begins to cross the equator.
History of First Day of Autumn
Ancient people had no modern clocks, but they could measure the hours of night and day by using geometry. People discovered that the sun rose and set at a slightly different place each day of the year. When the sun reached its northernmost point, marking the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, it was called the summer solstice. The sun’s southernmost point marked the winter solstice or the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere when the North Pole was tilted the farthest from the sun. The equinoxes occur twice yearly, and on those days, the sun rises directly in the East and sets directly in the West.
Ancient peoples used several prehistoric sites to track the sun’s position and predict equinoxes and solstices. These sites include Stonehenge and Newgrange in the U.K. and the Majorville Medicine Wheel in Alberta, Canada. For centuries people have celebrated the autumn equinox. In the Northern Hemisphere, the autumn equinox coincides with the autumn harvest, and many ancient harvest celebrations occur on or around the autumn equinox.
Two seasons can be considered autumn. One is astronomical autumn, which has to do with the Earth’s orbit around the sun, and the other is meteorological autumn, which is determined by changes in temperature. According to astronomical autumn, the seasons result from the Earth’s 23.5-degree tilt concerning its orbit around the sun. Using this method, autumn begins on September 23, 2022, and ends on December 22, 2022, when it gives way to winter. The autumn equinox is when the earth’s surface experiences 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness across one day.
First Day of Autumn timeline
Hipparchus proposed dividing the day into 24 equal hours, now known as equinoctial hours.
Legendary literally geniuses Chaucer and Shakespeare use the word ‘autumn’ in their works.
The word autumn was used from the 12th Century, but by the 16th Century, it was in everyday use.
Settlers spread across the U.S. taking the English language with them.
First Day of Autumn FAQs
How can I describe autumn?
Autumn is the season following summer, when leaves fall from trees and days grow shorter.
What are the four seasons in order?
Earth experiences four seasons — spring, summer, autumn, and winter.
What kind of weather is in autumn?
Autumn weather can be pretty variable — one day, it is sunny and warm, but on another day, it could be raining or freezing.
First Day of Autumn Activities
Clean up your home
Cleaning up now means there will be less dust on surfaces when the weather gets cold and wet outside. So get your cleaning gear ready and get to work.
Get your furnace ready
The furnace is the most crucial part of any home heating system, so make sure it's in tip-top shape before the cold weather hits. Also, have your heating system inspected by a professional.
Prepare your clothes
Now is the time to prepare your clothes for when the temperatures drop. You can start by putting away any summer clothes that aren't going to get much use this season.
5 Fascinating Facts About Autumn
Children born in autumn may live longer
It has been found that people born in the autumn are more likely to live to 100 years old, and no, it's not just a coincidence.
Sugar in leaves affects their colors
Lots of dry weather and sunlight produce more sugars in the leaves, which lead to a brighter red, whereas colder temperatures stop the process that makes red pigments.
Birds spend most of Autumn migrating
A Swainson's Hawk can travel as far as 14,000 miles, while an Arctic Tern can cover about 44,000 miles.
It can make people depressed
Not everyone enjoys autumn as much as they do spring, and about 5% of people suffer from a type of depression known as "autumn depression."
The Earth's equator never experiences autumn
People who live very close to the equator never experience autumn — it's always warm around the equator.
Why We Love First Day of Autumn
It's a time to be thankful
The weather is cool but not cold, and the sun shines brightly during the day but with a gentle warmth that doesn't cause you to sweat. This makes autumn the perfect time to get outside, breathe deeply, and appreciate all Mother Nature has to offer.
The harvest season has begun
This is an exciting time for farmers. It is when they reap their rewards after months of hard work in the fields. This also means more variety on menus across the U.S. — and more delicious dishes for everyone to enjoy together.
It signals time to prepare for the holiday season
The first day of autumn means preparing for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holidays. You can start preparing early and not get caught unawares.
First Day of Autumn dates