What You Should Know About Autumn Equinox and Why It Happened

It's finally Autumn season! But before we could have the first smell of the burnt tangerine, the Northern Hemisphere will experience first the Autumn Equinox on the 23rd of September precisely at 3:20 in the early dawn.

However, autumn equinox in the Southern Hemisphere happens in different time, in March 20 to 23.

So what's this phenomenon all about?

Autumn Equinox is when the days become longer and the nights are shorter. However, by definition, Equinox means day and night are of equal time.

Autumn Equinox. According to Brittanica, is when the Sun passes through the celestial equator going southward. It also marks the beginning of the Autumn or Fall season which will end on the Winter Solstice, on December 21 or 22 in the Northern Hemisphere, June 20 of 21 in the Southern Hemisphere. 

Autumn Equinox is the time when the Sun is above the equator making day and night equal in the length of time. Poets have its more romantic description with this natural occurrence. 

"It's when the Sun dies for a few hours to give its life to the Moon".

The Long Ballad couple, Leo Wu and Dilraba Dilmurat

Why there are equinoxes?

During the equinox occurrences, the Earth's axis is perpendicular to the Sun's rays, all regions on Earth will receive the same number of hours of sunlight. Equinox comes from the Latin word, "equal night". 

Equinox days do not have exactly 12 hours of daylight. 

The brightest full moon closer to autumn equinox is called "Harvest Moon" because it occurs in a time farmers doing their harvest during autumn.

Harvest Moon is celebrated in many parts of Asia because it falls on other festivals like the Mid-Autumn festival in China which is also called Moon Festival or Mooncake festival, and one of its observance practices is watching the full moon. According to local belief, it signifies blessings, prosperity and abundance.

Why Harvest Moon happened?

According to Brittanica, near the time of the autumnal equinoxm the angle of the moon's orbit relative to the Earth's horizon is at its minimum, causing the full moon to rise above the horizon faster than usual.

Leo Wu and Dilraba Dilmurat in The Long Ballad

Around this time, the full moon rises near the hour of sunset, allowing the farmers to do their harvest until evening due to enough day light, thus, earning the name Harvest Moon.

Harvest Moon in the Northern Hemisphere occurred last September 20 while in the Southern Hemisphere, March 20 to 22.

Autumn Equinox Observance

In some parts of Asia, some countries marked it with special observances. In Japan, Autumn Equinox is considered as a public holiday called Higan

It is a Buddhist holiday exclusively observed by the Japanese sects. In Korea, a festival called Chuseok is observed. It is a major harvest festival, often observed in three days around the autumn equinox.

In China, Taiwan, Hongkong and some countries with Chinese communities, Mid-Autumn festival is celebrated, also called Moon cake or Moon festival. It occurred around the time of Harvest Moon.

Nami island in South Korea during Autumn

Where to travel in Asia to experience the best of Autumn Season? Check this travel guide:

10 Most Stunning Places in Asia to experience the best of Autumn

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