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Celebrating the Autumnal Equinox





The Autumnal Equinox occurs at what has traditionally been thought of as Harvest Time, the time of final harvest of the summer crops, the time when the trees start to lose their leaves, and the summer flowers lose their final blossoms. 

Here are ways that you can celebrate the Equinox:

  1. Take the time, if possible, to find out and pause to notice the actual moment of the Autumnal Equinox, when the sun has crossed the celestial equator from north to south, ushering in the season of fall in the Northern Hemisphere and spring in the Southern Hemisphere.  

  2.  Focus on the idea that our days and nights are of equal length (sometimes, this occurs in the days before or just after the equinox). Going forward, in the Northern Hemisphere (for us in the United States), our nights will now begin to be longer than our days, bringing us slowly to the longest night, on our Winter Solstice. 

  3. Families can have a special dinner that showcases the foods of the season (in your particular region). In the Northeast United States, the dinner could include garden vegetables that are plentiful (and usually still reasonably priced) but nearing the end of their season. These include tomatoes, peppers, corn, eggplant, root vegetables (carrots, radishes, yams, potatoes) and various squashes. 

  4. At the special dinner, share things for which each of you is grateful. Allow each person to share at least one or two specific things for which they are thankful. For ideas, think about how the Earth has given us so much over the spring and summer seasons: foods we’ve enjoyed; the shade of the leafy green trees; the incredible of array of colors among the seasons’ blooming plants;  the cool (but not too cold!) waters of our oceans, lakes, ponds, and streams—all the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches we have experienced over the last six months. 

  5. Share memories of special moments from the wonderfully long summer days now past (particularly times when you were able to enjoy the sunlight as it stretched long into the evening—maybe at an outdoor concert or picnic or ballgame). 

  6. Discuss ways to prepare for the coming winter. These can range from preparing foods for winter storage (canning, drying, freezing), if you have a garden, to talking about how your habits might change with the shorter days. Discuss how you can adjust your behavior for the season (going to bed earlier to get up earlier, taking a walk at lunchtime instead of after work, children getting out to play right after school while the light is still bright)

The focus of the celebration is          on gratitude for the                  beauty and bounty of the seasons 

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