Just what does Autumn mean…when does it start?

By  | September 9, 2017 | Filed under: Interesting Facts, News

The time of year that Keats called the ‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’, Autumn is a season famous for its harvest time, turning leaves, cooling temperatures and darkening nights.

In Greek mythology, Autumn began when Persephone was abducted by Hades to be the Queen of the Underworld. In distress Persephone’s mother, Demeter (the goddess of the harvest), caused all the crops on Earth to die until her daughter was allowed to return, marking Spring.

We typically think of ‘Fall’ as the North American version of the word ‘Autumn’, but it was in fact in widespread usage in England until relatively recently.   Originally a shortening of the phrase fall of the leaf, the phrase was common in England in the 17th century.  The word Autumn entered English from the French automne and didn’t become common usage until the 18th century.download

Generally speaking the Autumn equinox always falls on either 22 or 23 September, but not quite always.  Because the Gregorian calendar is not quite in perfect symmetry with the Earth’s orbit, the Autumn equinox will very occasionally fall on September 24. This last happened in 1931 and will next happen in 2303.

But in the Deep South we think of fall as Football Season….and here in Alabama it is either red and white, orange and blue or the deep purple of UNA if you hail from North Alabama.   Tailgate parties, friendly bets on Auburn or Alabama as number one.   Yes here in Alabama the beginning of autumn is all about the pig skin.

Happy Fall y’all.

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