10 Interesting Facts About Autumn
When is the first day of autumn?
The first day of autumn, sometimes called the autumn equinox, varies from year to year. It falls on or around the 22nd of September. It can happen as early as the 21st and as late as the 24th of September.
What is the autumn equinox?
The autumn equinox, sometimes called the fall equinox, is a celestial event that occurs worldwide each September, usually on or around September 22nd. The autumn equinox happens when the sun crosses the celestial equator toward the south. Conversely, the vernal, or spring equinox, occurs then the sun crosses the celestial equator moving north.
Want to learn more? Check out our blog: 10 Facts About The Autumn Equinox.
What does 'autumn' mean?
Autumn is an incredibly old word, dating back to the 16th century. It can be traced to the ancient Etruscan word 'autu' which simply means 'passing of the year.'
What is 'autumn' in Spanish?
Planning to travel this fall? Brush up on your autumnal chit chat! What is 'autumn' in Spanish? Otoño. In German? Herbst. In Italian? Autunno. In French? L'automne.
Autumn is celebrated worldwide
Throughout history, autumn has been one of the most significant times of the year. Autumn is when the days begin to shorten, get colder, and crops need to be harvested. There are many celebrations of autumn from around the world.
In Japan, a period called Ohigan is celebrated by Buddhists who view the equinox as symbolic of life transitions. China and Vietnam celebrate the Moon Festival, happening each year during the full moon closest to the fall equinox.
Neo-Druids gather at Stonehenge in Britain to watch the sunrise each equinox. In the west, the fall equinox is a time of celebrating fall activities with fairs, festivals, and other types of events.
When does autumn end?
There are two answers to this question. One has more to do with climate, the other more to do with the calendar. Technically, autumn doesn't end until the first day of winter on December 21. But autumn may feel like it ends much sooner or lasts much longer, depending on the part of the world you live in.
Ancient mythology surrounding autumn.
Autumn isn't just celebrated. There's also a great deal of mythology and ritual surrounding it as well. In Greek mythology, a god named Horae was responsible for the changing of the seasons. Ancient Romans beleived that Autumnus brought about the harvest.
In Japan, farmers would give 'fire offerings' in honor of Huichi in exchange for the energy to finish harvesting crops. Pueblo Indians in North America performed rituals that honored Selu, the corn mother, who was believed to give abundant harvests.
Why is autumn sometimes called 'fall'?
Why do we sometimes call autumn 'fall'? Is it because the leaves fall from the trees? Sort of. The story behind the word 'fall' is a little more complicated than that. Fall stems from an Old English word, 'feallan,' which means 'to fall or to die.' The word fall is more commonly used in American English, while autumn is more common in British English.
Why do leaves change color in the autumn?
We recently wrote out a more thorough explanation for why leaves change color, but to summarize: as the weather changes, days get cooler and shorter, the chlorophyll in the tree's leaves (which give it the green colors of spring and summer) begin to break down, revealing underlying leaf colors. Want to learn more? Check out our blog: Why Do Leaves Change Color In The Fall?
Can you plant trees in the autumn?
Fall is not the best time of the year to plant trees, but there are some trees that you can plant during the waning months of the year. Trees like elm, honey locusts, and buckeye can be planted in the fall. Check out our full list of trees you can plant in the autumn here.