When September rolls around something seems to shift in the air. Perhaps there's a new chill in the evenings. Apple cider doughnuts appear in the market, and everyone's suddenly craving a pumpkin spice latte from your local coffee shop. You begin to wonder if summer is really officially over. More importantly, "When is the first day of fall?" Well, it might just be time to start planning your fall activities bucket list! We're talking apple picking, sweater shopping, and testing out your new pumpkin carving ideas.
Before you can really make all your autumn dreams come true, you have to know exactly what day fall starts this year. After all, the date changes based on the fall equinox. You've probably heard the term "equinox" before, but you might not know exactly what it means. First of all, there are two equinoxes a year: the autumnal and vernal equinoxes. During these times, the Earth's axis is tilted neither toward nor away from the sun, causing all latitudes to experience a basically equal amount of daylight and darkness. Those days mark the beginning of fall and the first day of spring! (This is unlike the winter and summer solstice when you'll have the shortest and longest days of the year, respectively.)
Now that you know what the day entails, you can finally read on to figure out when the first day of fall will happen in 2022.
When is the first day of fall in 2022?
In 2022, the first day of fall is on Thursday, September 22. Of course, bear in mind that this only applies to the Northern Hemisphere—if you live South of the equator, this is when spring will begin! From the end of summer until the winter solstice, the days will get shorter and shorter. We know this is sad, but think of all the cozy fall movies you'll get to watch!
Does fall start on the same day every year?
The first day of fall can change, but the window of possible dates is quite small. Most years, you can expect it to occur on September 22 or 23. Every now and then, it could happen on September 21 or 24 but the last time we had a September 21 fall equinox was over a thousand years ago! And don't expect another September 24 date until 2303.
What is the fall equinox?
While the autumnal equinox signifies the first day of fall, there are a lot of folklore and myths around the day as well. For instance, the ancient Greeks believed the goddess Persephone returned to Hades in the underworld at the beginning of fall. In her mother Demeter's grief each year, the harvest goddess would cause the crops to die until she returned in the spring.
The term itself is derived from two Latin words, aequus which means equal, and nox which means night. The name was coined due to the equal length of day and night on the equinox. While it's not exactly the same, it's close enough and often differs by minutes, depending on where you are in the world.
What time is the 2022 autumnal equinox?
According to the National Weather Service, the fall equinox in 2022 will happen at 9:04 p.m. EDT. So if you want to really make the most of the day, set your clocks and enjoy your first pumpkin spice treat as soon as the time comes!