The fall autumnal equinox marks the official beginning of fall in the northern hemisphere. The autumn equinox and the vernal equinox happen at the same moment all over the world but are converted to local time. The season you welcome depends on the side of the equator that you live on. In 2019 the equinox will occur at 7:50 UTC on September 23. Which will be September 22 for those of us in North America. This means that the fall equinox will occur on Sunday, September 22, 2019, at 3:50 AM EDT, or 6:50 PM PDT in the northern hemisphere.
In the southern hemisphere, the vernal equinox occurs at the same time that the autumnal equinox occurs. It marks the official beginning of spring. If you live in the southern hemisphere and are celebrating the vernal equinox check out fun ways to celebrate the spring equinox.
Are you confused yet? Don’t worry… we answer all your questions about the equinox below!
Related: Winter Solstice Celebration Ideas
What is the Equinox?
What is the fall equinox, autumn equinox, autumnal equinox, spring equinox, and the vernal equinox? The short answer is that they are all basically the same thing.
The equinox is the point in time that the sun crosses the equator. It happens at the exact same moment across the world, converted to each local time zone. The difference lies in the season that you welcome.
The Northern Hemisphere experiences the cooling temperatures and golden foliage characteristic of the fall, while the Southern hemisphere welcomes new life and warming temperatures known as spring.
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 more or less the same on the day or two around the moment that the equinox happens.
This is why the equinox has been celebrated as a day of balance because day and night are approximately the same lengths.
When Does the Equinox Happen?
One equinox occurs in March and the other occurs in September. The season you welcome, fall or spring, depends on the side of the equator that you live on.
How Many Equinoxes Are There?
As mentioned above, there are two equinoxes every year. One in September and one in March.
The northern hemisphere welcomes the fall on the September equinox and the spring on the March equinox, while the southern hemisphere welcomes the spring on the September equinox and the fall on the March equinox.
This means that in September the northern hemisphere welcomes the shorter days and cooler temperatures characteristic of the fall, while the southern hemisphere welcomes the longer days and warmer temperatures characteristic of the spring.
In March these are reversed. The northern hemisphere welcomes the spring while the southern hemisphere welcomes the fall.
The Fall Autumnal Equinox
Before the fall equinox, you will begin to notice signs of autumn appearing all around. Check out our Signs of Autumn Scavenger Hunt to learn more.
Fall Equinox Celebration Ideas
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. Create something meaningful for you and your family and you can’t go wrong.
11 Ways to Celebrate the Autumn 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.
Want to get things done this season? Use the power of rhythm and routines to help you get organized and provide a framework for your day. A daily rhythm can also increase your ability to stay focused and get things done.
3. Make Fall Nature Crafts and Create Fall Art
Making fall crafts with your children is a great way to welcome in the season. A few fun and easy ideas can be found below:
- Acorn Peg Dolls
- Fall Peg Doll Fairies
- Top 10 Fall Nature Crafts
- DIY Acorn Marble Necklaces
- Oak Apple Nature Craft
- Fall Leaf Art Projects
- 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? Check out planning your daily routine or rhythm and how to use the power of habit to change your life to get started.
5. Visit a local Farm or Orchard
Head to a local farm to harvest items for a meal to celebrate the arrival of fall.
Pop over to have a look at our tips in the following articles:
6. Eat a Fall Harvest Meal
Create a meal from local seasonal foods. Cooking a farm to table dish is always a great learning experience for kids.
Feel free to invite your friends and family over to enjoy the fall harvest. If you decide to have guests at your harvest feast, invite them to join you in creating a gratitude and/or project list!
7. Add Fall Decor to Your Home
- Decorate your home with fall decor, fall arts, and autumn crafts to welcome the season.
- Create a Fall Nature Table (photo below) – Click on the link for more information.
8. Meditate and/or Practice Yoga
On the equinox, day and night, dark and light become 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. Read books about Autumn and the Fall.
Reading books about the autumn aloud with your children is a great way to celebrate the fall season. Check out a few of our favorites below:
- We Gather Together
- Fletcher and the Falling Leaves
- Leaf Man
- We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt
- Apples and Pumpkins
- Fall Mixed Up
- Hello Fall
- Why do Leaves Change Color?
- Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf
- It’s Fall
- The Little Yellow Leaf
- Because of an Acorn
- Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn
- In the Middle of Fall
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.
Fall Equinox Celebration Ideas
There are many ways to celebrate the fall autumnal equinox. Create something meaningful for you and your family and you can’t go wrong.
Have a question we didn’t answer about the fall equinox? Use the comments below and we will do our best to get an answer for you!
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!
If You liked Fall Equinox Celebration Ideas, You May Also Like
- Fall Tree Collage
- 10 Ways to Have Fun Outside with Fall Leaves
- Fall Leaves Watercolor Art
- Signs of Autumn Scavenger Hunt for Kids
The One Essential Tool You Need To Keep You and the Kids Happy!
Subscribe to the Rhythms of Play community newsletter to connect with your children, and find the FREEDOM to do the things you LOVE!