For thousands of years, people around the world in all different cultures have celebrated the change of seasons. It was – and still is – a time to celebrate hard work, to honor mother nature, and to acknowledge the passage of time. Many of our modern holidays are held around the same time as these ancient festivals. Fall, winter, spring, and summer can each be welcomed and celebrated in their own special way.
Celebrating the Fall Equinox as the season shifts from summer to autumn is a great way to bring a closer connection to nature into your home. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Autumn equinox occurs every year on or around September 21, just after the September full Harvest moon. It is the time when night and day are of equal length. In the year 2022, it will happen on September 22.
Our Favorite Fall Equinox Activities
Here are a few special ways to help welcome the fall equinox:
- First, we go apple picking at the same local orchard. Next we bring out all of our fall-related books and audio stories and then change our nature table from summer items to fall items. On the actual day of the fall equinox, we try to spend as much time outside as we can by either talking a nature walk or simply playing outside. We try to notice a change in the light and change in air temperature and to see if there are any changes leaf color. Then in the evening, we’ll have a dinner of local harvest foods. Most of it comes from our garden, but sometimes we go out to a farmers market and see what is available. This year we’ll be having okra, butternut squash, tomatoes, and apples.
Apple picking is great way to help your kids connect the end of the growing season to their own lives. Although apples are available all year in the store, come April they are kind of mealy and not so tasty because they are being shipped from so far away out of season. When you eat apples in season, picked by you or your children from a farm near you, the apples taste that much more delicious. This year we picked 65 pounds of apples and are making them into apple sauce, apple pies, apple cake, eating them fresh, and even making dried apple chips.
Autumn Nature Table
- In our home we have a small flat-topped trunk that we’ve turned into our nature/season table. At the change of each season we completely reset the table to fit the new season. There are some really beautiful nature table sets ups out there but it doesn’t have to be big or complicated. This is our table this week. Right now it has a few leaves, some bark, rocks, and a few handmade toys. Come November, it will be filled with all sorts of nature treasure.
Here is what you need:
A space to put seasonal objects on. It can be a table, window sill, or even a low shelf in a bookcase.
A cloth to cover the table with the appropriate seasonal color. For fall, you’ll probably want brown or orange to reflect the change in the leaves.
Nature toys: acorns, leaves, rocks, dried flowers, hand-picked apples. It can be anything that you child picks up on their fall nature walks.
A book relating fall (see the list below for fall-related books).
Wooden toys. This last element is totally optional, but we like to have little peg gnomes to play with along with all the fall nature treasures we find.
When celebrating a new-to-your-family holiday, I find it’s easiest if you have a few good books to read and activities to do. That’s how traditions are made, after all — by doing things that are fun and enjoyable.
More Waldorf-Inspired Activities to Celebrate Fall Equinox
Here are a few more of our favorite activities to do on or around the fall equinox:
make leaf wreaths to decorate the house
read fall picture books
take a nature walk
make fall sun catchers
change nature table to fall theme
make a fall-inspired dinner
Our favorite Autumnal Books
Lastly to help inspire you, here are a few wonderful fall-themed books we bring out only in the fall:
Autumn by Gerda Muller
Christopher’s Harvest Time by Elsa Beskow
Wood, Hazel and Little Pip by Elsa Beskow
We Gather Together by Wendy Pfeffer
Hardscrabble Harvest by Dalov Ipcar
The Ox Cart Man by Donald Hall
Our Favorite Audio Stories for the Fall Equinox
Although autumn for central Texas typically consists of intermittent rain and heat, we still love to recall the changing leaves, ripening apples, cool winds, and even cooler nights. Here are some stories to help us all appreciate (and imagine) the "Best of Autumn."
Log into your Sparkle Account to listen.
If you liked this play list, here are others you might enjoy:
Have you ever celebrated the Autumn Equinox? What things does your family like to do to celebrate?
If you celebrate the Fall Equinox, please share with us on Instagram or Facebook or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), what you did in words and/or pictures. We’d love to see how your family celebrates.
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About the Author
KC is a full-time radical homemaker and mama to two spunky little girls. She writes about all kinds of radical goodness, from gardening and cooking with whole foods to crafting, sewing, homeschooling, and mama musings. Read more on her blog The Nettlesome Life.