With the recent spell of hot weather, it’s difficult to remember that summer is now over. And as autumn begins, it signals the start of a change in our temperate climate as we head towards winter.
The next 3 months bring with them shorter days, cooler temperatures, and of course some of the most amazing colours. We also celebrate a number of different events in autumn, including Halloween and Remembrance Tide.
So when does autumn actually begin? Well that depends which way you look at it, since there are two different definitions of when autumn commences. Firstly, if you look at the calendar in terms of meteorological seasons, then autumn begins on 1st September, and runs until 30th November. Indeed, most people use this format, since it is easier to remember each season by dividing the year into 4 lots of 3-month intervals.
However, autumn doesn’t officially begin until the autumn equinox takes place. This normally happens on either 22nd or 23rd September, and this year it will take place on 23rd September, at 7:49am. The equinox is when the sun crosses the equator’s path, and becomes positioned exactly above the equator, between the Northern and Southern Hemisphere. So, if you work in accordance with the astronomical season, autumn will officially end on 22nd December.
Autumn does, of course, signal the start of a change in our climate. The shorter days mean that trees begin to prepare for winter, signified by the stunning colours displayed by the turning of the leaves. This takes place when the chemical Chlorophyll, which makes leaves green, starts to decline and other chemicals take over. This change turns the leaves into an array of vibrant colours, including ambers, reds and yellows.
Fall vs Autumn
This change of season always sparks the age old debate - is it Fall or Autumn? Well for most people, we typically think of ‘Fall’ as being a North American term for autumn, however the term was used widely in England until recently. The term is a shortening of the phrase ‘fall of the leaf’, which was common right up to, and including, the 17th century. It wasn’t until the 18th century that we changed to using the word ‘Autumn’, which comes from the French ‘Automne’.
Autumn Fun Fact
Here is a fun fact for you - people born in autumn live longer! According to a study, babies born during the autumn months are more likely to live to 100 than those born during the rest of the year. It looks like there’s hope for me yet!
Have a super autumn, and remember - be kind to one another.