Today, Friday the 22nd, day and night appear to be equal length. This is called the vernal equinox or, sometimes Mabon. Here in northern hemisphere, we also know it as the beginning of autumn.
For the fans of AtmosFX®, this time of year probably means you’re celebrating the season by sketching-out plans for how you’re going to totally out-do last year’s Halloween decorating display. But, believe it or not, people all over the world observe the autumnal equinox as the beginning of the celebration season.
Celebrating the harvest: This is the time when the bounty of the long, warm growing season bears fruit, so to speak. Harvest festivals are an ancient tradition around the globe, almost always centered around bounty and community – not to mention preparing for the colder months. One of our favorites is the 3000-year old Chinese and Vietnamese tradition of the Moon Festival. (This year it land on October 4.) Thousands of lanterns light up this festival. Lotus-paste and crushed walnuts moon cakes are the essential celebratory comestible for the occasion – that alone is reason to celebrate.
Celebrating payday and unemployment: We got a kick out of this, thanks to Mental Floss. In England, it used to be that after the harvest, the servants finally got paid for all their work. Then, it was time to find a new job! Employment fairs would take place in villages – though they were mostly an opportunity to eat and drink, and enjoy the spoils of the harvest. We have to ask, though, when meeting that next employer, maybe it might have been a good idea not to have indulged too much?
Celebrating Beer with Friends: We all know what Oktoberfest is about: Beer, in large quantities. Technically, this Bavarian tradition didn’t originate to celebrate the harvest, but rather the marriage of Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen in 1810. Over the years, the day became a celebration of Bavarian agriculture. By 1887, the local breweries got involved, and we know what happened next! Now the 16-to-18 day festival attracts an estimated 6 million people to the Bavarian region, and by some estimates, more than 8 million liters of beer served.
However you celebrate, enjoy the launch of the holiday season!