The equinox means that day and night last exactly the same amount of time, that is, their length is 12 hours each. This is due to the fact that on this day the sun’s rays fall perpendicularly on the equator. This phenomenon occurs twice a year, during the spring equinox and, of course, the described autumnal equinox. The autumnal solstice usually occurs on September 22, and thus marks the astronomical beginning of autumn. Check the calendar for the autumnal equinox in 2023.
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Autumnal equinox 2023 – the beginning of autumn
The autumnal solstice indicates the beginning of astronomical autumn – from then on, until the winter solstice, the day will get shorter and the night longer. Since the autumnal equinox is a moving holiday, it occurs around September 22 and 23, the autumnal equinox in 2023 will occur on September 23 at 03:03 a.m. After the equinox, the sun passes through the Libra point, and thus for the next six months, it will illuminate the northern hemisphere more weakly, while illuminating the southern hemisphere more strongly, where spring will begin. This means that the south pole will be closer to the Sun than the north pole.
Autumn Equinox 2023
In the northern hemisphere, where we live, the autumnal equinox occurs when the Earth crosses a point in its orbit and the sun’s rays fall perpendicular to the equator and are simultaneously tangent to its surface at the poles. The autumnal equinox in 2023 will take place exactly on Saturday, September 23 at 8:49 a.m. However, remember that the dates of calendar and astronomical autumn are not always the same. Calendar autumn always begins on September 23, while astronomical autumn always begins on September 22 or 23. This always provides an opportunity for double celebration and celebration of the new season.
Celebrating the autumnal equinox – the mabon holiday and mabon sabbath traditions
The astronomical autumn, also points to the ancient harvest festival, which we know today as the Harvest Festival. As we say goodbye to summer, astronomical autumn begins, the days start to get shorter, old leaves start to fall from the trees, and the temperature starts to drop. The date of the equinoxes indicates diminishing sunlight, and this also affects our decline in mood, the so-called autumn depressions, a period of shutting down. Nevertheless, autumn is a beautiful and colorful season. Farewell to summer, the sun and the gradual introduction into the darkness of winter. Harvesting takes place during this time, but it is also a period of rest. Ancient tribes like the Celts and Slavs paid great attention to the time of the equinox. For them it was the time of the festival of Mabon, also known as the Grape Festival. The name Mabon itself is derived from the son of the Welsh goddess Modron. Some say it is from the name of the Celtic god of youth and fertility. However, the name Mabon itself was introduced by Wicca followers in the 1970s. Regardless of the culture, the god, a symbol of the autumn solstice, was responsible for youth, fertility, hunting and harvesting. Ultimately, therefore, Mabon is the Sabbath falling on the autumnal equinox. Rituals in favor of the god and goddess, according to the beliefs of Slavs and Wiccan and Celtic followers, were supposed to ensure good luck and fertility for the following summer. In addition, thanks were given for the previous year and the gods were asked for favor and good fortune, so that the harvested supplies would not run out until spring.
Symbols of Mabon
For Pagans, Mabon is a time of recapitulation, the end of the grain harvest, thanking the gods for their abundance. It is the second time of the year, after the vernal equinox, when day equals night – a fitting moment to remember that everything has a beginning and an end and its counterbalance. The balance of day and night is temporary, then the day gets shorter and the night gets longer – the opposite of the spring solstice. The feast of the autumnal equinox was a moment of gathering together in circles, a bonfire was lit, during which summer crops were sacrificed: grain, fruit, baked goods, honey. These gifts symbolized gratitude for the sun, wind, earth and water, which made it possible to gather supplies for the coming winter. In addition, the tools associated with the celebration of Mabon are sickles, ritual knives and scythes, which are symbols of death and field work.
The magical autumnal equinox – how to celebrate and celebrate?
The modern celebration of the last moments of summer, and thus the celebration of the autumnal equinox – the moment when light and darkness reign equivalently over the world – can be celebrated in many different ways. First and foremost, it is a time of thanksgiving for the harvest – and Harvest Festival was considered such a holiday, which is still celebrated lavishly in many villages and smaller towns. Today, like our ancestors, we can celebrate the solstice time by decorating our homes with autumn decorations. We can feel the autumn atmosphere by decorating the table with a tablecloth decorated with candles, acorns, nuts and leaves. We can also make a bonfire, during which we will give thanks for the past years, share with each other the experiences of the past months and ask that in the colder season we will not lack prosperity.
The autumn equinox, like the spring equinox, is a very important time. In the first case, preparations are underway for a colder and uncertain winter, when the day is shorter and it gets dark outside the window soon. In the case of the spring solstice, we longingly look out for the first signs of spring, followed by a warm and sunny summer. The celebration of the equinoxes is a time for reflection, but also for plans – to turn to nature, which is transforming before our eyes, blossoming or slowly withering or hiding before the frost arrives. Although we can be sure that the time of autumn and winter just like spring and summer is transient. Therefore, after each winter comes the longed-for spring again – and this happens every year.