September 22 is the first official day of fall. The season begins at promptly 4:44 p.m. EDT during the autumn equinox, as the sun crosses directly over the Earth’s equator, leaving day and night equal. The fall season lasts three full months, with us until the beginning of winter on December 21.
Fall is a season of changes for nature and people alike. It’s a time for both to reevaluate their priorities and take another path in life. It’s the time of year when you begin craving a nice cup of hot chocolate or spiced tea. As if those weren’t enough reasons to celebrate, fall brings along some of the most spectacular foliage ever seen.
The tastes of fall are some of the most delicious and distinctive of all. Pumpkin pie, turkey and dressing and sweet potato pie are just a few of the many mouthwatering dishes known for the fall. It’s a time of cooking and passing down family recipes, hoping to get things just right for everyone to enjoy around the dinner table.
A Little Fall History
The word “autumn” actually comes from the Latin word “autumnus”. An alternate term for the season, fall, originated with from the German language. Fall became commonplace during the mid-16th century, when the English citizens began referring to fall as “the fall of the leaves.”
There are tons of common symbols and traditions typically associated with Fall. Some of the most recognized are:
Scarecrows are historically found in some form, in most cultures around the world. They are usually in the shape of a man dressed in old farmer’s clothing. The scarecrows used to be hung high above a farmer’s crops as a way to frighten away crows and other scavengers.
Cornucopia or Horn-of-Plenty
The cornucopia is a time-honored symbol of abundance and has come to be associated with the holiday of Thanksgiving. In reality, however, this image has been around much longer than the traditional Thanksgiving holiday.
The word “cornucopia” actually dates back to the 5th century BC. It derives from two Latin words: “cornu,” meaning horn; stemming from the mythological one horned unicorn and “copia,” meaning copious or plenty. Thus, “cornucopia” literally means the horn of plenty, and the names are used interchangeably. In ancient times, the horn-of-plenty was typically represented by a curved goat’s horn that was overflowing with harvest fruits and grains.