Friday, September 22 is the Autumnal Equinox, the first day of Fall. It is celebrated by many different cultures and plays a significant role in some beliefs. For most people, Fall is a time that ushers in harvests, preserving food for the upcoming months, enjoyment of the colors of the changing leaves and beginning to prepare oneself both physically and psychologically for the upcoming colder months. For Keats, the famous poet, Fall was the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”. A beautiful season, and my personal favorite, Fall is filled with color, crisp days and provides an excuse to indulge in great foods. And it all begins with that first day of Fall. Here are some fun ways to celebrate the Autumnal Equinox.
Understand the meanings associated with the Autumnal Equinox. This is the day when both the daytime and nighttime are of the same length, which has been long interpreted to mean that the world is in balance. Once the Autumnal Equinox passes, the nights begin to get longer and the temperatures will start to Fall. Autumn is a time of dual purpose – it is time to gather the main harvests and it is time to determine what is needed for the upcoming Winter. This is also about balance and as such, Fall is considered the season of balance, a time during which you can restore balance to your own life.
Consider staying up during the night to welcome Autumn. Many people like to welcome in Fall by remaining awake all night, to honor the equal length of day and night. Perhaps tie this in with a celebration with friends, by holding a small dinner party which features Autumn flavors, such as squash, pears and apples. If you’re not so keen on an all-night vigil, stay up until midnight instead.
Build or set up a monument to Autumn. If you want to share your joy at the arrival of Fall, consider building or placing a monument featuring Autumnal items like pumpkins and straw in your yard. Ideas for what to do include a scarecrow or an animal you like, a pattern, or even spelling out words such as “Welcome to Fall!”. Your monument could also be an expression of your gratitude for the harvest from the Earth.
Be creative. For those who love crafts, it’s a great time to start some Fall-inspired crafts. There are all sorts of Fall crafts you might like to try. A few ideas include: Carve some shrunken apple heads, make leaf prints, craft a Fall wreath, frame Fall foliage for decoration and use corn stalks, or cotton stalks, yes I said cotton, to make festive seasonal decorations. For those who love food crafts, Fall is the ideal time to get into making preserves, pickles, bottles of drink, sauces and frozen goodies.
Make a list of your inner harvest. An inner harvest refers to all the achievements and experiences that you have had or felt during the past few seasons. This is a way of restoring gratitude into your life, as you realize what you have done and how you have coped with challenges during the past months. Take this opportunity to consolidate your energy, fine-tune what you’ve achieved since Spring and be ever so thankful and grateful for what you have.
Express your Fall awe. If you’re a photographer, artist or writer, try to capture the essence of Fall in photo, artwork or word form. Don’t just focus on the changing leaves and bountiful harvests; consider the deeper meanings of the season as they resonate with you. Perhaps this is a time of necessary change for you and expressing this through your creativity is a great way to get started.
Contemplate. This is a season when the buzzing activity of Summer dies down and the excitement of life outdoors begins to relax into the more evenly paced, more predictable rhythm of Fall. Think about the ways you have neglected your inner growth and how this might be remedied.
Meditate or do tai-chi. Try to find your balance, in the same way that the world finds its balance on the Autumnal Equinox.
Seek to improve your health. This is as good a time as any to restore healthful balance to your life. There are delicious foods from harvest to help you cleanse and keep to a healthy diet at this time of year, such as apples, grapes, peaches, plums, pears, watermelon, celery, squash, eggplants, tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers and more. All of these healthy foods can be incorporated into a healthful lifestyle diet that keeps you fit and energetic. Where you can, support the growers of organic produce, which helps to sustain healthier soils and wildlife as part of the growing balance.
Turn your home into a haven. Fall is the time of the year when people begin to turn from outdoor pursuits and start moving back indoors more often. Of course, this shouldn’t stop you from making the most of the glorious sunny Fall days outside! This is a good time to restore balance in the home, to give it a spruce up before the upcoming Fall celebrations such as Halloween and Thanksgiving come and before Winter arrives.
Bring more light into your home. As the days start to shorten from the Autumnal Equinox, consider how you’ll be able to bring more light into your home. Open the drapes and lift up the blinds. Good lighting will keep your spirits buoyed.
But most of all, just relax a little, breathe and take the time to allow yourself the gift of enjoying all of the above and every single little wonderful benefit each new Fall season has to offer.
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