September is a time to welcome harvest, say goodbye to summer for good even if temps are still warm, welcoming fall.
I think everyone has a favorite season and I have always loved autumn, the scents or decaying leaves, the breezes that transition into crisp licks from summer warmth. I look forward to boots and sweaters and all the beautiful colors.
It seems that summer continues longer and then Halloween keeps creeping up, so I have barely a few days to actually enjoy autumn.
I love setting out my ceramic pumpkins on the brick hearth and my little velvet ones on the mantle. I switch out my front door wreath to one with leaves and pinecones. I have fall tablecloths and towels.
Celebrate the Autumnal Equinox around the 23rd of September.
The word equinox is from Latin, meaning “equal night.”
The autumn equinox is called Mabon, or Second Harvest, is one of the sacred Celtic celebrations, which date back to ancient times. It’s a time to give thanks for the summer and to pay tribute to the coming darkness.
Thanksgiving, the Moon Festival, Higan, Sukkot, Diwali, and many other fall festivals also hit upon themes of light, darkness, change, plenty, gratitude, and community.
According to legend, a feathered serpent deity named Kukulcan visits the Maya city of Chichen Itza every equinox. On both the vernal and autumnal equinox, crowds gather to watch as a snake-like shadow slides down the god’s namesake pyramid.
Fall festivals of the equinox often involve themes:
- balancing opposites, especially the scientific, aesthetic, and symbolic senses of light and darkness in balance
- food, plenty, and gratitude
- building and celebrating community through sharing food and labor
- preparing for winter practically, emotionally, and spiritually
- Decorating with leaves, pumpkins, apples – fall things!
- Nature walk
- Reading Favorite Fall Books
- Fall Leaf Crafts
- Fall Sensory Bin and Light Table
- Fall Unit Study
- Warm foods and drinks. Celebrate the harvest with garden fresh fruits and veggies.
- Read or sing fun animal nature stories like Squirrel Nutkin.
- Measure shadows outside
- Bonfires and sharing thankfulness for the year
- visit farmers markets before they close for the year
- pumpkin patches and corn mazes
Apples are a great September theme.
Pomona was a Roman goddess who was the keeper of orchards and fruit trees.
Here are a few verses perfect for Autumn (from A Beautiful Childhood):
- Harvest. This is a sweet poem that you can bring to life with some simple actions: “Blow, wind, blow! and go, mill, go! that the miller may grind his corn; that the baker may take it, and into bread make it, and bring us a loaf in the morn. When the wind drops, so the mill stops; when the wind blows, so the mill goes, going: ‘clickety-clacketyclickety-clackety-clickety-clacketyclickety-clack.”
- Seeds. Tell this poem slowly whilst doing actions with your hands: “A little seed for me to sow, a little earth to make it grow, a little dig, a little pat, a little wish, and that is that. A little sun, a little shower, a little wait, and then… a flower!”
- Wind / leaves. There are so many similar to this but I love this one, again it could easily be brought to life with a few simple hand gestures: “Come, little leaves,” said the wind one day; Come over the meadows with me and play; Put on your dresses of red and gold; For summer is gone, and the days grow cold. Soon as the leaves heard the wind’s loud call, Down they came fluttering, one and all; Over the fields they danced and flew, Singing the soft little songs they knew. Dancing and whirling the little leaves went; Winter had called them and they were content; Soon, fast asleep in their earthy beds, The snow laid a coverlet over their heads.”
- Apples. You can cut an apple in half to see the “star” inside and tell this poem / sing this song: “My nice red rosy apple, has a secret hid unseen. You’d see if you could slip inside, five rooms so neat and clean. In each room there are living, two pips so shiny bright. Asleep they are a-dreaming, of lovely warm sunlight. And sometimes they are dreaming, of things that are to be. For soon they will be hanging, upon a Christmas tree.”
- Celebrating Autumn Equinox: Customs & Crafts, Recipes & Rituals for Harvest, Sukkot, Mid Autumn Moon, Michaelmas, Eleusinian Mysteries & Other Autumn Holidays
- Mabon: Celebrating the Autumn Equinox
- Autumn Equinox: The Enchantment of Mabon
- Mabon and the Guardians of Celtic Britain: Hero Myths in the Mabinogion
- A Child’s Seasonal Treasury
- All Year Round: Christian Calendar of Celebrations
- Festivals Together
- Festivals Family and Food
- The Rhythm of Family: Discovering a Sense of Wonder through the Seasons
- Birthday Book: Celebrations for Everyone
- Balance in Teaching
- Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
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What’s your favorite thing about autumn?
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