There’s a lot to love about fall.
Temperatures start to cool after a scorching hot summer. The smell of pumpkin spice is in the air. And Halloween sales are in full force, meaning you have an excuse to buy bags of candy and dress up your pet.
The autumnal equinox is almost here, Thursday at 9:03 pm EDT – or 8:03 pm CDT, 7:03 pm MDT and 6:03 pm PDT.
But what is the autumnal equinox? Does it signal the beginning of fail? Is it observed around the world? Here’s what you need to know as autumn approaches.
Autumnal equinox marks the end of summer:But is it the start of fall or autumn?
Visual guide:Just what is the autumnal equinox anyway?
What happens at the autumn equinox?
Each September, the sun is directly above the equator, which signifies the autumnal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. For countries south of the equator, the moment is known as the vernal or spring equinox, marking the beginning of spring.
On the autumnal equinox, day and night are both about 12 hours long in many parts of the world.
Is the autumnal equinox on the first day of fall 2022?
Yes, the autumnal equinox is on the first day of fall in the Northern Hemisphere.
But some meteorologists and climatologists say summer ended Aug. 31, the last day of the three typical hottest months of the year: June, July and August.
Do people celebrate the autumnal equinox?
Yes, different cultures around the world have commemorated the autumn equinox as the arrival of the harvest season throughout history, including the Druids in what is now the United Kingdom, the Maya in Central America and others, according to National Geographic.
People in China and Vietnam celebrate the arrival of the harvest moon before the autumnal equinox by eating mooncakes, which are traditionally filled with red bean, lotus or dates.
Do you turn your clocks back during the autumnal equinox?
Nope; wait a few weeks to change the time on your microwave. Daylight saving time his year ends at 2 am on Sunday, Nov. 6.
The autumn equinox falls between the longest and shortest days of the year, the summer and winter solstices. This year’s winter solstice arrives Dec. 21.
Contributing: Doyle Rice, Michelle Shen