Summer has slipped away. Hope you enjoyed the season. The 2020 fall equinox arrives in the Northern Hemisphere on September 22 at 8:31am EDT.
What does the fall equinox mean?
Astronomically it’s the day when the sun crosses the celestial equator heading south. Thus, the fall (and spring) equinoxes provide Earth with roughly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. Oh, and after another blazing hot summer, the first day of fall signals cooler weather.
From the time of the Druids, the fall equinox signaled the end of the harvest. Then, winter preparations began. Families celebrated with parties and other social gatherings. Autumn lasts until the winter solstice.
Today, city dwellers often head to the countryside — for example, rural New England, to take in the changing colors of the leaves. Symbolically, the fall equinox reminds us to be grateful for the “harvests” in our own lives over the course of the year. This fall equinox, take time to reflect on the bounty of nature and the possibilities for abundance in every part of your amazing life.
Does the fall equinox have a spiritual meaning?
That all depends on what you believe. The equinox brings an end to spring’s rebirth — signaling a period of darkness and decline. What does that mean to you?
Fall equinox: Northern Hemisphere vs. Southern Hemisphere
Things are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere where September’s equinox marks the beginning of spring. Fall arrives in March below the equator.
Where are the best fall colors?
Nature puts on quite a show in autumn. The rotating colors of leaves — from green to red to rust to bright gold — signals the inevitable changing of the seasons. Here are six of the top places to watch:
1. Kyoto, Japan
Check out Tofukuji, a large 13th-century Zen temple in southeastern Kyoto, famous for spectacular autumn colors. Don’t miss the Tsutenkyo Bridge, which spans a valley of lush maple trees. Fall colors peak in mid November.
Average November 15 high temperature (Kyoto): 62F
2. New England
The fun begins in late September with a burst of color throughout Maine and New Hampshire. Things move south by late October — where you’ll find the best autumn views (and hues) in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
Average October 15 high temperature (Bartlett, NH): 58F
Aim for September and October when prices tend to drop. Get set for gorgeous autumn colors, the first snow, and even the Northern Lights!
Average October 10 high temperature (Reykjavik): 42F
Joy Morton envisioned a “great outdoor museum” of trees when he established The Morton Arboretum in 1922. It’s a 1,700-acre autumn paradise just 30 miles west of downtown.
Average November 1 high temperature (Chicago): 56F
Colorful Canada! Red maple, yellow poplar, and white birch make Ontario’s landscape a must-see autumn affair. Try an aerial or rail tour for even more spectacular views.
Average November 1 high temperature (Ottawa): 50F
6. Bavaria (Germany)
Catch autumn fairs and festivals throughout the season. Experts recommend one of the many “pilgrim paths” that run through Bavaria. The King Ludwig trail is a highlight.
Average November 1 high temperature (Nuremberg): 49F
And finally — Might we see snow before Halloween? Grab a coat — it could happen. The Old Farmer’s Almanac calls for a trace of October snow in the Northeast, Appalachians, Lower Lakes, Upper Midwest, High Plains, and Alaska. Expect flurries in Atlantic Canada, western Ontario, and the Canadian Prairies as well.