The fall autumnal equinox marks the official beginning of fall in the northern hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere, the vernal equinox occurs on the same day as the autumnal equinox. It marks the official beginning of spring.
Both the autumnal and vernal equinoxes happen at the same moment all over the world but are converted to local time. This year the equinox will occur on Friday, September 22, 2017, at 4:02 P.M. EDT.
If you live in the southern hemisphere and are celebrating the vernal equinox check out fun ways to celebrate the spring solstice.
The Autumnal and Vernal Equinox
The equinox is said to be a day of balance because the day and night are approximately the same lengths. The word equinox is derived from Latin, meaning “equal night.” On each equinox, the sun shines directly on the equator and the length of day and night are said to be equal. See diagram below.
As mentioned above, there are two equinoxes every year. One equinox occurs in March and the other occurs in September. In September, the northern hemisphere welcomes shorter days and cooler temperatures characteristic of the fall.
Conversely, the vernal equinox marks the beginning of longer days and warmer spring temperatures in the southern hemisphere. In March these are reversed. The northern hemisphere welcomes the spring while the southern hemisphere welcomes the fall.
After the autumnal equinox, you will notice signs that autumn has arrived. As the arc of the sun begins to shift toward the south day by day the birds and butterflies will also begin to migrate southward.
Related: Signs of Autumn Scavenger Hunt
Fun Ways to Celebrate the Fall Autumnal Equinox
Below you will find a list of 11 things you can do to celebrate the fall autumn equinox. If you live in the southern hemisphere and are celebrating the vernal equinox check out fun ways to celebrate the spring solstice.
Some of these suggestions are individual ways to celebrate the equinox while others can be done with family and friends. Feel free to do as many as you’d like or none at all. Up to you. Create something meaningful for you and your family and you can’t go wrong.
11 Ways to Celebrate the Fall Autumnal Equinox
1. Make a Gratitude List
The autumnal equinox is a time of harvest. Make a list of everything you are thankful for as a way of reaping your inner harvest. Better yet, start a gratitude journal. Gratitude brings abundance.
If you don’t know where to begin, start with the food you have to eat and the roof over your head. It will flow naturally from there. May your inner harvest be bountiful!
2. Restore Balance in the Home
Restore balance in the home by doing a fall deep cleaning. Get rid of anything that you no longer need to make space for the new season. For chemical-free cleaning tips see getting started with essential oils for a healthy home.
Related: Chemical-Free Cleaning Kit for Kids
3. Make Nature Crafts and Create Fall Art
Creating fall crafts is a great way to welcome in the season. Below I have provided several options to choose from.
- Acorn Peg Dolls – These cute little peg dolls are quick and easy to make.
- Fall Peg Doll Fairies – These whimsical little cuties are also a lot easier to make than they look.
- Top 10 Fall Nature Crafts – Lot’s of fun fall nature crafts to choose from.
- DIY Acorn Marble Necklaces – These make beautiful gifts.
- Oak Apple Nature Craft
- Fall Leaves Art
- The Best Fall Art Projects
- All Season Hand Print Tree – This all season hand and fingerprint tree is a great activity to do with your child to introduce the idea of seasonal changes. Feel free to do all seasons or just a fall tree.
4. Begin Something New
Solstices and equinoxes are a great time to let go of the old and begin anew. As the temperatures begin to cool and people begin to spend more time indoors it is a great time to begin a new project.
- Make a list of everything you’ve been wanting to do.
- Pick your top three choices.
- Make a plan to start one and go from there. Don’t know where to start? See Creating Positive Habits.
5. Visit a local Farm or Orchard
Head to a local farm to harvest items for a meal to celebrate the arrival of fall. Check out Visit an Apple Orchard, Visit a Pumpkin Patch, or Visit a Corn Maze for links to harvest dates and how to find a pick your own farm near you.
6. Eat a Fall Harvest Meal
Create a meal from local seasonal foods. Invite your friends and family over to enjoy the fall harvest. Have your guests join you in creating a gratitude and/or project list.
7. Add Fall Decor to Your Home
- Decorate your home with fall decor and/or fall crafts found in #3 above to welcome the season.
- Create a Fall Nature Table – See photo below. Click on the link for more information.
8. Meditate and/or Practice Yoga
On the equinox, day and night, dark and light are balanced. Meditate and/or practice yoga to create inner balance.
Related: Kids Yoga: Tips for Getting Started
9. Have or Attend a Bonfire
A bonfire is a great way to celebrate the equinox. Dance, sing, beat drums, play music, and celebrate the fall. Please be safe and follow city or county laws and regulations. For more information see 10 Tips for a Safe Bonfire with Kids.
10. Establish a Daily Rhythm
Want to get things done this season? Establishing a rhythm will help you get organized and provide a framework for your day. It increases your ability to stay focused and get things done. Children also thrive on rhythms in the home. Check out Establishing a Daily Rhythm for more information.
11. Get Outside & Connect
Get outside and connect with what matters on the equinox. For more information about the Get Outside & Connect Series click on the link.
There are many ways to celebrate the fall autumnal equinox. Create something meaningful for you and your family and you can’t go wrong.
For more ways to celebrate the fall equinox check out the following articles:
To learn about Rhythms of Play click on the link!