Why Isn’t the First Day of Fall September 21 This Year?
On Wednesday, September 21, 2022, I told a friend “Happy First Day of Fall!” They responded, “What the hell are you talking about?”
This didn’t strike me as too odd, as it is uncommon to live in New England and be overly joyous.
But it turns out that I had my days mixed up. After living nearly four decades believing the seasons always change on the 21st of the month, I discovered this is not the case when autumn rolls around.
Listen to this nonsense: the first day of fall, autumn, whatever you want to call it, can actually land on any day between September 21 and 24! That's not surprising for a season that goes by two names.
Whoever said stars are just like us was lying, because when it comes to calendar consistency, the constellation upon which September’s equinox hinges is fairly liberal. Literally.
According to the TimeAndDate.com page "Defining Seasons" (my favorite soap opera, by the way), the area where the sun crosses the equator headed south is called the First Point of Libra. But due to something called the precession of the equinoxes, the First Point of Libra is no longer located in the constellation of Libra, but rather Virgo. Yeesh.
This is bringing back memories of Dad’s frustration over Kenmore being the exit for Fenway Park, and Fenway being the exit you take to avoid it.
And don’t fall in love with September 22 as the first day of fall, either. According to TimeAndDate.com, it changes again next year, with corn maze season officially arriving on September 23! This is even worse than figuring out when Easter’s gonna be!
Anyway, it is now officially fall. Or autumn. I think? Go enjoy some caramel apples before they change it on us again.