Fall Equinox

Days grow shorter as winter approaches. Fields ripen for the final grain harvest. Nights lengthen and grow cold, as the spirits of our Ancestors become restless with the thinning of the veil between the worlds.  The Autumnal Equinox, also known as Harvest Tide or Harvest Home in some traditions, seems to have had little or no religious significance to the Celts.  To the Norse culture it is believed perhaps to have been celebrated as possibly a feast of the Ancestors and of the coming winter.  Despite little, if any, religious significance to the Celts or Norse people during this season harvest customs were and still remain evident.

It is during this season that all life begins preparations for the long winter nights that lay ahead. This is the time of the hunter-gatherer. It is a time of gathering nuts, berries, and herbs.  A time of vineyard, wine-making, and maple syrup. On the Autumnal Equinox which occurs during the end of September, day and night are of equal length and all around us preparations for Winter are beginning.  As the hours of daylight shorten, the leaves of trees and plants take on fall colors, fields glisten golden in the sun and the creatures of the earth begin to migrate to warmer climates. Those that do not migrate begin to store food for the winter months.

Even in our modern society, people prepare in various ways for the coming winter by winterizing homes and automobiles.  For those living closer to nature it is the time to store firewood, can food from the garden and fruit from the orchards.  The agricultural community stores grain, corn, and hay to feed livestock during the winter months and hunters prepare for the upcoming seasons.  Many rural communities continue to celebrate the harvest season through festivals, barn dances, and hay rides.  In short, the Autumnal Equinox is a seasonal celebration resulting from significant cultural events surrounding the seasonal changes that have played a role in civilization since ancient times and continues to play an important role in modern society.