The temperature is dropping, the nights are drawing in and the leaves are turning golden – all sure signs that autumn has well and truly arrived.
#Autumnishere has been trending on and off for weeks now, but when does the new season officially start and what is the September Equinox?
In 2017 the autumn equinox will occur on Friday 22nd September. From here on in, the days get gradually shorter until the winter solstice in December, when the light will begin to slowly climb back to longer days.
An equinox happens when the equator passes the centre of the sun, giving almost everywhere in the world a day and night of almost exactly the same length of time – 12 hours. The dates of the equinoxes aren’t fixed due to the Earth’s elliptical orbit of the sun and vary year to year.
This phenomenon occurs twice a year, in March and September, and heralds the beginning of spring and autumn. The term ‘Equinox’ is derived from the Latin words ‘equi’ means ‘equal’ and ‘nox’ meaning ‘night’.
The autumn equinox is celebrated by Pagans and Druids, some of whom gather at Stonehenge in Wiltshire to welcome the sun. For them it is a time of giving thanks for the abundance of harvest. For others the autumn equinox is a time for getting closer to nature and restoring balance to the home.