The Fall Equinox, one of only two days each year when day and night are of equal duration, occurs on September 22.
This day not only celebrates my favorite season, but also a wealth of lovely symbols of harmony and balance. It challenges us to consider if we can accept both the good and the bad that exist in the world, in our neighbourhoods, in our families, and within ourselves. How could we possibly appreciate light without darkness? Without light, how could we ever truly understand the magic of the moon?
For pagans, Mabon is celebrated from September 21 to September 29 to mark the halfway point in the harvest season. Some refer to it as a pagan Thanksgiving. The harvest celebration has its roots in Celtic mythology. Mabon is a festival honouring Mother Earth and the deity of light, and it serves as a time to give thanks to Mother Earth for her bounty and all the blessings that the natural world provides. It’s time to give back to the community by helping others who are less fortunate by volunteering our time, experience, or resources.
About Fall Equinox?
The terms “equinox” and “nox,” which refer to night and equal in Latin, are related. Nearly everywhere on Earth, day and night are of roughly equal length on the equinox.
The tilt of the Earth as it revolves around the sun remains constant. The North Pole is slightly inclined toward the sun for about half of the year, lengthening the days in the Northern Hemisphere, while the South Pole is slightly slanted away from the sun, shortening the days in the Southern Hemisphere.
The North Pole has since tipped slightly away from the sun as Earth keeps rotating around the sun at its constant angle. The equinox is the time of year when this change takes place, and on this day, rather than being at a location north or south, the region of Earth closest to the sun is the equator.
Fall Equinox Celebrations
The equinox is known as Mabon, or Second Harvest, in paganism. It’s time to express gratitude for the summer and honour the impending night. Samhain, the bigger Celtic holiday that served as the model for Halloween, falls on October 31–November 1 and is a good time to get ready. Building an altar with harvest-time fruits and vegetables is one Mabon ritual, as is meditating on balance, collecting apples for a feast and presenting them to the goddess, sharing food, and listing one’s blessings.
Japan has a period known as Ohigan to commemorate the equinoxes—both of them (sometimes spelt O-higan). The sun sets straight west during equinoxes, and according to Japanese Buddhism, the afterlife is to the west. The equinoxes serve as a reminder of life’s transformations. Therefore, Michigan is a good time to pay a visit to one’s ancestors’ graves. People lay flowers for the deceased and clean up the cemetery sites. Additionally, it is a time for reflection and connecting with living family members.
The Moon Festival, also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival, is observed in China and Vietnam on the full moon that is closest to the equinox. It is the fifteenth day of the ninth lunar month according to a lunar calendar. Observing the moon and eating moon cakes are both traditional festival activities; however, in the southern United States, moon pies are sometimes substituted. In Korea, a holiday akin to this is known as Chuseok.
On the fall equinox, Neo-Druids and other pagans assemble at Stonehenge to view the dawn. Both in the spring and the fall, this occurs every year. The solstices and equinoxes are the only occasions when members of the public can interact directly with the stones.
Fall Equinox Quotes
“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.” ~ John Donne
“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
“There is a harmony In autumn, and a luster in its sky…” ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley
“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” ~ Albert Camus
“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” ~ George Eliot
“It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life.” ~ P. D. James
“Change is a measure of time and, in the autumn, time seems speeded up. What was is not and never again will be; what is is change.” ~ Edwin Way Teale
“The season for enjoying the fullness of life – partaking of the harvest, sharing the harvest with others, and reinvesting and saving portions of the harvest for yet another season of growth.” ~ Denis Waitley