Usher in a new season by learning how to celebrate fall equinox.
The Coming of Fall
For most, the coming of fall means the end of long summer days, barbecues and relaxing at the beach. The weather turns cooler, leaves begin to change and fall off the trees and everything in nature begins to turn from a bright and cheery green to a dull and drab brown. However, the coming of fall doesn't have to be all drab and dreary - it can be fun and festive! You can't go out on the boat or laze around at the beach, but summer will come once again and fall does have its good points. Fall marks the beginning of a new school year, and opportunities for cozying up by a warm fire, sipping on hot chocolate. The air may be cool, but it's crisp and refreshing, so why not usher in the beginning of fall with a fall equinox celebration?
Learn How to Celebrate Fall Equinox
Before you begin planning your fall equinox celebration, get a handle on a few basics to prepare yourself for questions from the friends and family you'll be inviting:
- The fall equinox (also referred to as the Autumnal Equinox) falls on September 22nd or 23rd of every year. The exact date and time differ slightly from year to year depending upon how the earth is tilted on its axis.
- Day and night are about equal. On the day of the fall equinox, there are approximately 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night. The times do vary by a few minutes depending on where you live.
Celebratory Food and Drink
In thinking about how to celebrate fall equinox, suitable celebratory foods include late summer and early fall fruits and vegetables such as:
- Squash - Squash can be prepared in any number of ways, but here are some ideas to help you get your menu going:
- Butternut squash soup
- Baked stuffed squash
- Pumpkin empanadas
- Apples - There are so many things you can make with apples other than pie, such as:
- Apple bread
- Apple crisp
- Corn - Cornbread is one of the traditional foods of fall equinox celebrations.
- Root Vegetables - Carrots, parsnips, potatoes, jicama, turnips and radishes are just a few root vegetables.
- Wine - The Harvest Moon that falls around the date of the fall equinox is also referred to as the Wine Moon. It doesn't matter if it's white, red or sparkling, serve any type you like for your fall equinox party.
- Apple Cider - This traditional fall drink is a staple at any autumn party.
- Beer - Beer is also a traditional fall equinox party drink because it is made of hops, barley and wheat.
Decorations for the Celebration
Prepare your home or party venue in the colors of the fall, such as:
- Deep reds
- Warm yellows
- Rich browns
Make a cornucopia centerpiece including a few fall colored leaves, miniature pumpkins and gourds. Get a tablecloth in a deep red color and add a few warm yellow or gold placemats.
One of the main purposes for having a fall equinox celebration centuries ago was to give thanks to the gods for the bountiful harvest of the current year. Even if you're a non-farmer, giving thanks could still be part of the celebration. Here's a suggested ceremony:
- Form a thanksgiving circle with your guests - Everyone stands in a circle with hands joined.
- Face north - Give thanks for your home, finances and health while facing northward.
- Face east - Face this direction when giving thanks for the knowledge you have gained over the past year.
- Face south - Turn south to thank the gods for accomplishments in your career.
- Face west - The final direction is for giving thanks for spiritual growth and development you've experienced in the past year.
It's Your Party!
In the end, the fall equinox party is yours, so serve whatever food and drink you like. If you don't want to participate in a thanksgiving circle, have your guests write down what they're thankful for on a slip of paper and put all the slips in a bowl. Later on, as the festivities wind down, read all the slips of paper out loud. It's okay to get creative and put your personal stamp on your annual fall equinox party!