The autumn equinox marks the beginning of autumn and the end of summer. It is one of two times every year when day and night are equal in length, and it signifies the moment when the daylight creeps from its peak at noon to a final apex at dusk. Because of this, the day has been held with significance by different cultures worldwide for centuries. Here’s everything you need to know about autumn equinoxes and festivals around the world:
When is the Autumn Equinox?
The autumn equinox occurs on the same day every year, which is usually around the 21st or 22nd of September, depending on the year. The autumn equinox also marks the moment when the Sun’s path in the sky crosses the celestial equator and when night and day are of equal length. The autumn equinox has been celebrated for thousands of years, since the beginning of recorded human history. The two equinoxes are the only two times each year when the Sun can be seen rising due east and setting due west.
How is the Autumn Equinox Celebrated?
Like the spring equinox, the autumn equinox is a point on the yearly calendar when cultures celebrate the changing of the seasons. Many equinox celebrations celebrate the harvest, as the autumn equinox marks the end of the growing season and the beginning of the harvesting season. There are a few common themes among autumn equinox celebrations. Many cultures celebrate the harvest and their thanksgiving to the sun for warmth, light, and growth. People may also celebrate the change of the seasons and the end of summer.
Why Is the Autumn Equinox Important?
There are a few reasons why the autumn equinox is important, and many of them come down to the change of the seasons. As the seasons change, they bring new growth and a change in natural conditions. The autumn equinox celebrates this new growth and the season’s change. Additionally, the autumn equinox is a reminder of the significance of light. In the autumn, days are getting shorter, and nights are getting longer, but light still remains. This is important for many cultures, especially those practicing a faith like Christianity. Light is important in Christianity because it reminds us of God and his goodness, even in the darkness.
Autumn Equinox and Sumerian Culture
The ancient Sumerian people celebrated the autumn equinox to commemorate the god of creation, Enlil. Enlil was responsible for creating the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and the seasons. Sumerians celebrated the autumn equinox to welcome the end of the growing season and to prepare for the harvesting season that was to come. The autumn equinox is also widely celebrated in India because it marks the Hindu New Year. The first day of autumn is known as the Festival of Makar Sankranti, and it marks the end of one year and the beginning of another. People celebrate the festival by flying kites, making sweets, and going on picnics. The festival marks the end of the harvest season and celebrates the harvest’s bounty.
Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos)
Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday that takes place every year from October 31st to November 2nd. The holiday is celebrated in memory of loved ones who have passed away. Mexican people celebrate the holiday by decorating altars and offering food and drink to the spirits of their ancestors. They also visit cemeteries to tend to their loved ones’ graves. The holiday has roots in indigenous culture, but it also has ties to Christianity. Many people celebrate the holiday by visiting cemeteries to pray for and remember friends and family who have passed away. Many celebrations of the Day of the Dead include a reenactment of the story of Calaveras y el Muerto, which means “Calaveras and the Dead.” The story reenacts the visit of the spirits of the dead to their friends and family. People reenact this story by dressing up in skeleton costumes and visiting their friends and family.
Kuebari and Shubun no ichi: Japanese Equinox Celebrations
In Japan, the autumn equinox is celebrated with the Kuebari festival. Citizens carry pine sprigs around their city, often stopping to distribute them to friends and family members. The ceremony is meant to bring good luck to the city’s people and also serves as a reminder that winter is coming. Japanese people also celebrate the autumn equinox by eating a special type of rice cake called shubun no ichi, which is made for the occasion. The cakes are made with red bean paste and decorated with pine needles.
Celtic Festival of Samhain
The Celtic festival of Samhain is another autumn equinox tradition. Samhain is the Gaelic festival that marks the end of the harvest season and the start of winter. The festival is widely celebrated in Celtic culture and has been celebrated since antiquity. Today, Samhain is celebrated as Halloween. The Celts widely celebrate Samhain because it marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the winter season. People celebrate Samhain with parades, concerts, and pageantry. They also celebrate with food and drink, such as apples, nuts, and cider. People also light bonfires during the celebration. The fire represents the coming of winter, and it also helps to ward off evil spirits. The celebration lasts for several days and is also a time when people remember their loved ones who have passed away. People often visit cemeteries and leave flowers or other small tokens on their loved ones’ graves.
The autumn equinox is one of the most important times of the year, as it marks a shift in the seasons and reminds us of the significance of light. If you’re looking to celebrate the autumn equinox, many events and festivals are happening worldwide. You can also celebrate the autumn equinox by reflecting on the significance of the change, light, and the importance of gratitude.