The first day of fall also known as the ‘autumnal equinox’ will fall on September 22nd this year. For those of you confused about what we mean by this, let’s start with a brief introduction, shall we? The date varies for northern and southern hemisphere with the autumnal equinox 2018 falling on a Saturday at 9:54 pm precisely for the former. So why is this day so important?
What does the first day of fall mean?
It’s common to hear a lot of stories about the first day of different seasons. A lot of myths and superstitions are associated with it. How many of these legends are true and how many are fiction? Read on to find out.
This day is called by some names, whatever the name maybe it marks the start of a season. Autumnal equinox in the northern hemisphere marks the first day of fall while in the southern, it marks the beginning of spring. Equinox is a Latin word composed of two words, aequus meaning equal and nox meaning night.
The phenomenon behind autumnal equinox definition is the passing of the celestial equator by the sun. Now it makes sense that when the sun is at the equator, the rays of the sun will be distributed equally on both the hemispheres. At noontime, the sun is right above which is why the number of hours of the day and the night is equal.
There are different ways to look at it. After this day, the temperatures begin to fall getting lower and lower every day. The days become shorter than the night. If you’re confused about why the nights and days are not equal or what the falling leaves indicate, all your queries will be resolved below.
Are the day and night equal?
Although we claimed that the first day of fall has an equal number of hours for both day and night, this is not completely true. There may be an offset of a few minutes; this is why it isn’t a problem if you assume that there are 12 hours in the day and night each.
But if you want to delve deeper into why this happens, here is an idea. The sun sets 12 hours after it rises, but the sun isn’t a point. The day starts when the upper edges of the sun become visible, and sunset is recorded as the time when the whole sun has set and no longer illuminates the atmosphere.
Even after it sets, some of its rays get refracted and form an arc above the horizon. Because of this phenomenon, the length of the day and the night are not equal. If the sun were like a point, we would have experienced a 12-hour day and a 12-hour night on the autumn equinox.
Additionally, if there were no air in the atmosphere, it would eliminate the concept of refraction. But then again, it would also eliminate the idea of life because we wouldn’t be able to breathe, would we?
Falling leaves and what does it mean?
There are a lot of popular sayings about autumn and the falling of leaves, each holding a secret. One old proverb goes along the lines of ‘if autumn leaves are slow to fall, prepare for a cold winter. Now it depends on you how much you believe this message. Are the leaves hanging on the trees an indication of the winter that lies ahead or is it just a saying?
Another famous quote about falling leaves used the following words; The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go.’ On the first day of fall, the trees start to shed their wrinkling leaves. They begin to make room for new fresher leaves to grow.
This is a symbolic representation of how important it is to let go of things in life, things that hold you down, prevent you from moving on and growing and bring you misery. Only when you decide to let go, you begin to make space for happiness to shine through. The first day of autumn 2018 is a chance for you to forgive and forget, let go of your demons and start over.
Signs that indicate the start of fall
There is nothing like the beauty of fall. We have all experienced it but doesn’t it take your breath away each time? Red, orange and brown are the colors that cover everything around, giving off vibrancy.
Leaves fall creating piles around. As you walk, the fallen leaves crush under your feet giving you the sweet sound of autumn. The trees that you see in the painting are usually inspired by the trees in autumn that present a beautiful picture. The leaves are falling, but asters and chrysanthemums bloom bringing your garden to life.
The first day of fall is marked by pumpkins and corns and makes you realize the many wonders of life, reasons to be grateful. It is an indication of the many festivals that await, Halloween and Thanksgiving. For the football enthusiasts, this is the start of a season that has waited for the whole year. All in all, it’s the feeling around. The calm and excitement both surround you at the same time.
There is a hope for better days and a chance to redeem for yourself. When the weather is nice, it brings a positive change in people’s attitude. Birds are not the only ones chirping. Happily, people radiate good energy.
There are a lot of poems written to describe the beauty of this season. We, for one, can’t wait for the first day of autumn 2018 and everything that it will bring. Here’s to hoping this season will be better than all the ones before.
This poem captures the essence of the beautiful season market by the autumn equinox :
Pumpkins in the corn fields
Gold among the brown
Leaves of rust and scarlet
Trembling slowly down
Birds that travel southward
Lovely time to play
Nothing is as pleasant
As an autumn day!
Carmen Lagos Signes