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First day of fall, 2013!

First day of fall, 2013!

The first day of Fall is this Sunday, September 22 and this season has certainly garnered a reputation for being one of the most favored of the four. The air becomes cool and crisp as Mother Nature dons her most colorful robe of the year, sending everyone to the parks and mountains to marvel at her exquisite palette of red, gold, orange, and crimson fall leaves. So grab your most favorite, well-worn sweater as we all get ready to say, “Welcome, Autumn!”

The Autumnal Equinox–A Time of Balance

Fall is considered the season of balance. The autumnal equinox, which is the first day of fall, is the day when both the daytime and nighttime are the same length, which has long been interpreted to mean that the world is in balance, making it the perfect time during which you can restore balance to your own life as well.  From the raking to the baking, you can take your pick on any number of ways to rejuvenate within, as well as without.

A Harvest of Fun

Fall is also a time that ushers in the harvest and preserves food for the long winter months ahead, and to celebrate this goodness from the land, Harvest Festivals abound all season.  Traditionally, Harvest festivals are held on or near the Sunday of the Harvest Moon which is the full Moon occurring closest to the autumnal equinox.  Stroll through pumpkin patches, wind through corn mazes, enjoy hayrides, bob for apples, and sip warm apple cider under crisp autumn skies.   Nearly every town in America sets this time apart to honor the farm workers who fill our holiday season’s kitchens and tables.

 A Bounty of Goodness

Cooler autumn weather brings on hearty appetites and this season serves up good things at every turn. Try these favorite fall recipes to keep you cozy as the fall leaves blow…

For Keats, fall was the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” and as the days grow cooler and the trees become ablaze with color, we hope you’ll savor the richness and splendor that this harvest time offers to us all.

 

First day of fall, 2013!First day of fall, 2013!First day of fall, 2013!First day of fall, 2013!First day of fall, 2013!First day of fall, 2013!

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Welcome, First Day of Fall!

Welcome, First Day of Fall!Welcome to the first day of Fall!

Twice a year, during the earth’s orbit around the sun, we experience equal amounts of daylight and nighttime as the sun crosses over the equator.  In the Spring, we call it Vernal Equinox, and every Fall in September it goes by the name of Autumnal Equinox.

But Autumnal Equinox is much more than marking the season before the nights get longer and the leaves change color, soon to parachute from branches to the ground below.  Equinox, meaning “equal night”, has its share of folklore and tradition as well.  Some are rooted in mythology, others are more grounded and carry their tradition to this day.  Those surrounding Autumnal Equinox included the following:

One of eight Wiccan festivals that honor nature, Called Sabbats, falls near this date in September.

In Greek mythology, Persephone (formerly named Kore) returns to the Underworld on Autumnal Equinox to live with her husband, Hades, for half a year after living on Earth with her mother, Demeter, starting at Vernal Equinox.

Mabon, the Witch’s Thanksgiving, was a Welsh god and the male “counterpart” to the Persephone myth.  Taken from his mother while only days old, Mabon gestates in the womb of Modron (the Great Mother) waiting to be reborn.

Higan (meaning “the other shore”—nirvana), a Buddhist memorial service, occurs around the time of Autumnal Equinox (as well as Vernal Equinox), for seven days and serves to comfort ancestral spirits with loved ones visiting family graves.

Michaelmas, the Christian holiday honoring the Archangel Michael, has pagan roots in Autumnal Equinox—end of harvest time, the marking of shorter days and longer nights, as well as the expulsion of Lucifer from Heaven by Archangel Michael.

Clearly, this time of year has a variety of cultural observances spread around the world, diverse in custom, yet united in season.  This September, when experiencing one of the biannual “balancings of nature”, remember the multitude of celebrations that share the advent of Autumn.

feri.com/frand/Wicca4.html

japanese.about.com/library/blhiraculture27.htm

wisegeek.com/what-is-michaelmas.htm

rmindependent.com/2009/09/fun-facts-about-the-autumnal-equinox/

earthwitchery.com/mabon.html#anchor513371

Welcome, First Day of Fall!Welcome, First Day of Fall!Welcome, First Day of Fall!Welcome, First Day of Fall!Welcome, First Day of Fall!Welcome, First Day of Fall!