Fun Facts About the Fall Equinox

The beach gear is packed up, school is back in session, and there's a good chance you've already done the seasonal closet shuffle. For all intents and purposes, summer is over, but technically speaking, fall doesn't begin until September 22. Here are some fun facts about the equinox (go on and impress your family and friends at the dinner table!). Thanks to Drumlin Farm's Tia Pinney for contributing her expertise!

1. What exactly is an equinox?

Like the first day of spring, the first day of autumn is known as an equinox. An equinox is a point in the year when the earth is in a neutral position as it relates to the sun. Or, to put it more simply: it's the one day of the year when day and night are of equal length.

2. What is the origin of the word equinox?

The term equinox comes from the Latin for equal and night.

3. Does the equinox serve a purpose?

Just as with summer and winter solstices, seasonal changes have given people an excuse to celebrate for centuries. For example, this site has rounded up a plethora of fall festivals!

4. What are some fun ways to teach kids about the equinox?

Why not use the first day of fall to take stock in the wonders of nature with your kids? Step outside, go for a walk, and notice what's changing right before your eyes. A nature scavenger hunt is a great way to get kids observing. Among the first signs of fall you may find:

  • Pinecones

  • Acorns falling to the ground

  • Leaves beginning to turn shades of reds and yellows

  • Hawks flying overhead

  • Monarch butterflies

  • Autumn flowers such as asters and goldenrods

5. I want my kids to level up on their nature knowledge! What do you recommend?

Take your fall explorations to the next level at an upcoming Mass Audubon family program at one of its wildlife sanctuaries around the state. Mass Audubon offers lots of programming, spanning little ones to teens to adults!

Fun facts about the fall equinox

Fun facts about the fall equinox