First Day of Fall

When does Fall start in 2021?

In the Northern Hemisphere, the astronomical Start of Fall is on September 22, at 3:21 P.M. EDT. This day is also known as the Autumnal Equinox. 

Fall is the transitional season between Summer and Winter. In 2021, Fall will last from September 22 until December 21, which is when Winter starts. 

Fall Leaves

What is the Autumnal Equinox?

The Autumnal Equinox is also known as the Fall or September Equinox, and it happens when the Sun crosses the celestial equator towards the South. This event marks the start of Fall in the Northern Hemisphere and the beginning of Spring in the Southern Hemisphere. 

In Latin, Equinox means "equal night". On the day of the Autumnal Equinox, day and night are roughly the same lengths. After the Autumnal Equinox, the days start to get shorter and the nights get longer, as the Sun rises late and sets early. 

Learn more about the Autumnal Equinox.

Characteristics of Fall

With the transition from Summer into fall, the temperatures start getting colder, and the days become shorter. The change in weather and sunlight affects vegetation such as plants and trees, whose leaves start turning red, orange, or yellow before they shed. 

While Fall is usually a cold month, some states in America don't really experience the change in temperature, as is the case of California and Florida, where it remains a moderate 72°F. However, some states are picture-perfect during fall, with foliage turning into beautiful shades of reds and oranges. 

It is also during fall that some of America's favorite activities take place, such as pumpkin picking, country fairs, and hiking. 


Fall Traditions, Customs and Associations

The start of Fall, and specifically the Autumnal Equinox, is a reason to celebrate in many cultures and religions all over the world. 

One of the most important events that happens with the arrival of Fall is the Harvest season. Since ancient times, people have been welcoming the harvest season with traditions, rituals and festivals. The most significant celebration tied to the harvest season in the United States is, of course, Thanksgiving. Those of Jewish faith also celebrate Sukkot during this period. 

In the United States, pumpkins and apples are often associated with Fall, as this is the perfect season to harvest them and use them. 

People on a pumpkin patch

The popularity of pumpkins during fall is also tied to the popular holiday of Halloween. On this day, people carve scary faces and designs into pumpkins, dress up in costumes, decorate their homes and go trick or treating. Even though Halloween is only celebrated on October 31st, people start getting ready for it much earlier, closer to when Fall starts.

Start of Fall dates from 2021 to 2026

2021 Wednesday, September 22
2022 Thursday, September 22
2023 Friday, September 22
2024 Sunday, September 22
2025 Monday, September 22
2026 Wednesday, September 23

Other Articles you may find interesting: