The September Equinox can occur any day between September 21—24. This year it falls on September 23. This is because of the differences between the tropical year and the calendar year. The event marks the sun’s movement as it crosses the celestial equator and heads towards the south. It is also known as the southward equinox. The September Equinox is popular among astronomers and people in the science industries. It signifies the end of the astronomical summer and the start of the astronomical autumn in the Northern Hemisphere.
History of The September Equinox
In West Asia, according to the Iranian calendar, The September Equinox signifies the first day of Mehr or Libra. It is celebrated as a festival known as ‘Jashne Mirhragan’ or the festival of love and sharing. The equinox is a Buddhist public holiday known as ‘Higan’ in Japan. In Europe, it is observed as a Slavic harvest festival called ‘Dozynki’. According to the French Republican calendar used between 1793 to 1805, the September equinox represented New Year’s Day. In the United Kingdom, the traditional harvest festival took place on the Sunday of the full moon nearest to the September equinox.
It is considered a cardinal point on the ‘Wheel of the Year’ by the Neopagans. Some pagan movements in the Northern Hemisphere adopt The September Equinox traditions. In America, the annual equinox and the solstice sunrise are observed in Illinois. A large timber circle was discovered near Collinsville at the Mississippian culture Cahokia archaeological site.
The September Equinox represents the beginning of a period where we experience later sunrises and earlier sunsets where cooler days bring colder winds and dried fallen leaves. People in earlier cultures used the sky to tell time and dates; they understood the path of the sun across the sky and the location of sunset and sunrise as it shifts during the year. These early citizens marked the first observance, seen at Stonehenge in Willshire. There’s also the Intihuatana stone in Machu Picchu, Peru. Today, the September Equinox is recognized as an astronomical event caused by the Earth’s tilt along its axis and its movement around the sun.
The September Equinox timeline
Julius Caesar establishes the Julian calendar and sets March 25 as the spring equinox.
The September Equinox occurs later than usual on September 24.
The Cassini probe orbiting the planet captured evidence of an equinox — proof that they occur on other planets besides earth.
The earliest equinox is predicted to take place on September 21, 2096.
The September Equinox FAQs
Is The September Equinox the only one?
The September Equinox is one of four days that represent the beginning of a new season. The others include the March equinox, June solstice, and December solstice.
What happens to the sun during the equinox?
The sun rises due east and sets due west. Before the southward equinox, the sun rises and sets more towards the north while after the equinox, it rises and sets more towards the south.
Is the equinox dangerous?
The equinox is not a dangerous event. It simply marks a moment in time that signifies the beginning of a new season.
The September Equinox Activities
Visit an observation site
Find an official observation site where you can watch the equinox. It can be a fun thing to do where you’ll also learn about astronomy.
Read about astronomy
Learn more about astronomy by reading books on the subject. You’ll learn a lot about our fascinating planet and the many stars surrounding it.
Make a resolution
The September Equinox is considered the New Year for some people. It is an opportunity to start making the changes you’ve been wanting to make.
5 Important Facts About The Equinox
Equal day and night
When the sun is directly above the Earth’s equator and moving from north to south, it creates equal day and night.
It creates twilight
The sun sinks below the horizon creating a twilight at the North Pole that usually lasts until October.
It marks the beginning of fall
In the Northern Hemisphere, it can be referred to as the fall equinox because it marks the end of summer and the beginning of fall.
It marks the beginning of spring
In the Southern Hemisphere, it can be referred to as the spring equinox because it represents the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
Equinox means equal night
The word equinox comes from Latin meaning ‘equal night’ because an equinox day and night are of equal length all around the world
Why We Love The September Equinox
It is a fun astronomical event
The equinox is exciting even if you’re not that into astronomy. We can all observe the changes and think about the vastness of our world.
It marks the beginning of seasons
The equinox is an old and easy way of telling that the seasons have changed. It reminds us that time is always passing, and the seasons are constantly changing.
It connects us all
The equinox is experienced in every part of the world. It shows that we are all connected and equally affected by the things happening on our planet.
The September Equinox dates