While some are mourning the loss of late sunsets and beach days spent rocking bright tanks and denim shorts, the rest of us are over here doing the Nae Nae on summer's fresh grave. The season of hellish heat is gone for another year, and we can fill our bellies with pumpkin spice lattes while we're draped in our favorite oversized sweaters. That's because it's almost time to celebrate the fall equinox — which means autumn is officially here. And since the autumnal equinox only comes once a year (this year it's on Sept. 22 at 10:21 a.m. EDT) you should celebrate it properly.
Sure, it feels like fall is already here, with the resurrection of thick tights, back-to-school sales winding down, and warm oranges and reds everywhere you look. But astronomically speaking, sweater weather doesn't kick off until the sun's rays shine directly over the equator — a phenomenon that happens but twice a year, in September and also in March. And we should really listen to science, because well... it's science. So let's bust out the hot cider, light all the baked good-scented candles (whilst we consume all the actual baked goods IRL), and properly honor the first official day of fall. We've truly waited long enough. Here are seven reasons to celebrate the fall equinox.
1. Hourly Equality
The thing about the equinox is that it's one of only two days during the year where the amount of daylight and darkness are just about equal. The sun and moon get 12 hours each to shine, and in the era of women still seeking to close the gender pay gap, there's something seriously gratifying about this.
2. It's a Time for Feasting
Countries around the world celebrate the fall equinox with feasts and other cultural traditions. Not that any of us really need another reason to bust out the fall flavors and consume ridiculous amount of food — Thanksgiving is on its way — but who's gonna turn down a feast?
3. It Only Lasts a Moment
Many countries celebrate the autumnal equinox all day long, but the equinox itself only lasts a moment. The exact time the sun passes over the equator from the Northern hemisphere to the Southern hemisphere will happen at 10:21 a.m. EDT.
4. It's a Reminder of How Small and Insignificant We Are
Rather than sending you into an existential crisis, realizing how insignificant we are during the moment the equinox occurs is actually a good thing. There are billions of people who will experience the same exact thing, and they are all living vastly different lives. So the petty nonsense that you've been stressing over is really just a waste of your time. Let it go.
5. Winter Is Coming
Take this moment to enjoy the official kick-off to the fall season, because in many places, autumn only lasts a month or two before the temperatures drop and the snow starts to fall. Light jackets get puffier, and casual boots get put away for bigger, more practical snow-trudging options.
6. Those Northern Lights, Though
If catching a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis is on your bucket list, there's a chance you might be able to do so during the equinox. In the Northern Hemisphere, NASA states that geomagnetic activities are twice as likely to occur during spring and fall than in summer and winter.
7. Everything Is Beautiful
Fall is hands down the most beautiful time of year. I think enough people agree with that statement to make it more of a fact than opinion, yes? But with the foliage, cozy beverages, and the rest of the aspects of autumn that make us all "basic," it's definitely the best time of year. Enjoy it while you can.
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