Well, it’s the time of year that the sun shines directly on the equator, from north to south, meaning that the day and night are equal lengths.
The word “equinox” comes from Latin and means “equal night,” referring to the roughly 12-hour day and night that occurs only on the two equinox days of the year.
In the northern hemisphere it marks the beginning of autumn/fall. But in the southern hemisphere it’s called the Vernal (spring) equinox.
When is it?
The equinox happens around the 20 – 23 September very year. This year it’s on 23nd September.
It’s also only on the spring and autumn equinoxes that the sun rises due east and sets due west!
Just as different cultures celebrate the summer and winter solstice, the spring and autumn/fall equinox is also celebrated.
Cultures across the world celebrate the September equinox in different ways and it’s linked to ancient myth and superstition and harvest festivals.
The traditional harvest festival in the UK is celebrated on the Sunday of the full moon closest to the September equinox.
In China the Moon festival is celebrated around the time of the Autumn equinox. It celebrates the summers harvest and one of the main foods is mooncakes filled with lotus, sesame seeds, a duck egg or dried fruit. It is traditional in China to give them away to family and friends.
Higan, or Higan-e, is a week of Buddhist services observed in Japan during both the September and March equinoxes. Higan means the “other shore” and refers to the spirits of the dead reaching Nirvana. It is a time to remember the dead by visiting, cleaning and decorating their graves.
Mabon Pagan/Wiccan tradition
At the time of the autumn equinox the harvest is finishing. Mabon is the mid-harvest festival, and it is when they take a time to honour the changing seasons and celebrate the second harvest. It is a time of giving thanks, and of gratitude and of sharing with others less fortunate.
The equinox is celebrated with foods that honour the hearth and harvest, breads and grains, autumn veggies like squash and onions, fruits, and wine.
Sharing the harvest
So for this Equinox we’d like to offer you a great autumnal menu that you can share with family and friends to give thanks.
125g/4oz blue cheese, crumbled 600g/1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes 125ml/4oz marsala wine 250ml/9 fl oz double cream ½ tsp ground nutmeg 4 tbsp olive oil 100g/1 onion, roughly chopped 1 tbsp toasted pinenuts Salt and pepper to taste 500g/1lb 2oz sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes 1.5 litres/2 pints 13fl oz of vegetable stock (20g/2 x stock cubes)
Packed with goodness for your eyes, blood, skin, brain and immune system, this soup recipe is for four but with a big meal like this, it will be plenty enough for 6. Click for the method and to see the full nutrition here.
1.5g/¼ tsp allspice 1g/2 bay leaves 70g/1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped 3g/½ tsp crushed celery seed 200ml organic cider 1.5g/¼ tsp ground cloves 12g/2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 50g/1 egg 25ml milk 200g/2 medium onions, chopped 300g/2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped 600g minced pork Salt and pepper to taste 500g/1 packet shortcrust pastry 100ml water
Although this Canadian pie can be served at New Year it makes a great meal for a harvest feast. It’s great for energy and boosting your immune system. Click for the method and to see the full nutrition here.
600g/6 large bramley apples, finely sliced 100g soft brown sugar 200g/4 eggs 140g raisins 200g self-raising flour 200g unsalted butter
This traditional British pudding which brings goodness for your eyes, heart and immune system, has apples encased in a delicious sponge. Serve with lashings of custard. Click for the method and to see the full nutrition here.
Of course no meal would be complete without a drink, so how about some fantastic fresh apple juice, a delicious cider or red wine. Click to see their fantastic nutritional value.
Co-founder, production manager
I'm our communications and marketing person, dealing with social media and copywriting. I also work with Matt and Ric overseeing the design and strategic management of the site.
I'm also the author of the Eva the Hungry Amoeba children's book series (only one so far). You can find it on Amazon.
My favourite foods, shepherds pie and smoked haddock!