In case you’ve missed the crisp chill in the air and the start of everything becoming pumpkin flavored, it’s finally Fall! Whether it be the leaves starting to pile up on our lawns or the days getting shorter, it’s definitely here. The history of Autumn celebrations goes quite far back in history, in both American customs and all over the world. The Fall equinox always occurs somewhere between September 21st and September 24th in the Northern hemisphere, in the Southern hemisphere this change signals the start of Spring.
Ancient cultures used Geometry to observe the Sun’s position and calculate the time of day, to them the change of seasons would have been incredibly important. In Greek Mythology the start of Fall represents the goddess Persephone returning to the Underworld to meet her husband, Hades. The Chinese celebrate the Harvest Moon Festival, a deeply rooted tradition beginning in the Shang dynasty, they made offerings to the moon and celebrated their successful harvest of that year.
The change from season to season is inherently scientific in nature, a sign of Fall coming is usually leaves changing colors and falling to the ground, multiple factors contribute to this interesting change, “ The vivid, often simple colors on the outside are the products of the complex chemistry of growth inside a leaf. Take the yellows and oranges, for example—the dominant colors of aspen, ash, birch, beech, hickories, maples, some oaks, tulip poplar, and sassafras—generally, these colors come from compounds called carotenoids (also responsible for the color of carrots) which are present in the leaf during the growing season.” (Glenn Morris)
All in all, whether you like the leaves changing, the colors, or the colder weather, Autumn is a fun and exciting season. With multiple holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving, and all the other wonderful celebrations that take place all over the world at this time of year, so enjoy your Pumpkin spiced latte and the sound of leaves crunching under your shoes, it won’t be long till Winter!
Brandy, Heather, 9/20/18, “See How the Fall Equinox Is Celebrated Around the World”, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/2018/09/fall-autumn-equinox-celebrations-photography/ , 9/25/19
Morris, Glenn, unable to find, “What Causes Leaves To Change Color?”, https://www.farmersalmanac.com/chemistry-fall-color-19160, 9/25/19