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September 19, 2011

Fall Equinox - Autumn Harvest

by Janis Masyk-Jackson
The fall or Autumnal Equinox celebrates harvest time, the changing of the colors of the leaves, the first day of fall, and the Wiccan holiday Mabon
There's something very unique about the fall equinox. It's one of  only two days in the entire year in which night and day are of the same length everywhere in the world. The other day is in spring. It's also a time for harvesting crops and depending on where someone lives in the world or their religious background, a time of giving thanks.

Autumnal Equinox

As the hot days of summer end, the leaves on the trees begin to burst into color as they begin changing into tones of yellow, orange, and red, signifying that fall is here. It's also harvest time. In the United States, some people celebrate the equinox with festivals and street fairs. The equinox usually takes place either on or by September 22.
The United States isn't the only country that celebrates a harvest. Similar celebrations take place in various Asian countries. Korea has the celebration known as Chusok, while Japan's celebration is called Obon. In China, Harvest Moon is celebrated.


Mabon celebrates the fall harvest while crops are picked and stored for the winter. It's also a time to offer thanks for all of the food that has been successfully grown. Mabon is like a Wiccan equivalent to Thanksgiving. Both Wiccans and Pagans gather to celebrate with festivals, rituals, and of course to enjoy some good food.
Some people enjoy decorating an alter as part of this holiday. Flowers of fall colors can be used. Other suggested items include a basket of colorful leaves, acorns, pomegranates, and pine cones. Many wonderful items can be collected just by walking outside. Be sure to include children if gathering up items. If entertaining guests, some of these items can be used to create a lovely centerpiece. Candles can also be added.

First Day of Fall

The first day of autumn is when the sun crosses over the Equator. It signifies the end of summer and the beginning of cooler days. It's also the day of the fall equinox. Children are back in school and autumn holidays are celebrated. Holidays in the United States which are celebrated include Halloween and Thanksgiving, (besides the Wiccan holiday of Mabon and Samhain.)