September Equinox

September Equinox in United Kingdom, for the years 2016, 2017 and 2018.





United Kingdom 2016 2017 2018
September Equinox Thursday 22nd September Friday 22nd September Sunday 23rd September


September Equinox

September Equinox celebrations began in pre-history

In September the equinox in the Northern hemisphere is the Autumnal Equinox, leading into the seasons of Autumn and Winter. In the Southern hemisphere the September Equinox is the vernal or Spring celebration.

Equinoxes are times when daylight and darkness hold equal sway. For our ancestors the changes they saw and felt in the weather and the position of the sun at the equinoxes, brought hope and fear. Equinoxes brought our ancestors to prayer in Autumn; prayer that the sun would not disappear for ever in the harsh Northern winters when trees lost their leaves and the world became grey and freezing. At Spring equinoxes the prayers and sacrifices were for a fertile growing season and a time of plenty and warmth.

Celebrations and traditions of equinoxes

Celebrations at the September Equinox in the Northern Autumn were to rejoice in bringing the harvest home, and laying down food for the coming winter. They were also to ward off the fears that there would not be enough food to last the winter. The Romans sacrificed to the goddess of the fruits of the earth, Pomona, while in England straw dolls symbolising the spirit of the fields, or large wicker effigies were burnt. Fairs and markets at September Equinox were used as employment opportunities.

Present day marking of a special time

The equinoxes are times of transition and many religious traditions use the opportunity to rededicate to a spiritual path. Pagan traditions were used by the early Christian church for Saints' days such as Michaelmas, for the September equinox and Easter for the Northern Spring equinox. This continues in the observances of the Druids at Stonehenge particularly at the September equinox where Druids gather to watch the sunrise. Other cultures have such festivals as the Chinese Moon festival or the Japanese public holiday which comes from an ancient day of ancestor worship. Equinoxes are seen as powerful and emotional times.