When Is the First Day of Fall in 2019—and When's the Fall Equinox?

So long, summer!

when is the fall autumnal equinox
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When is the first day of fall in 2019—and when's the fall equinox?

Some ask the age-old question with dread as they look toward the end of backyard cookouts, pool parties, and picnic weather. But others ask it excitedly as we eye the new crop of pumpkin spice products popping up in our local supermarkets. After all, as much as we love summer, autumn will always be our favorite season. Hot toddies, pumpkin bread, fall activities, and festive candles, here we come!

Still, before we get into the matter of when the autumnal (or fall) equinox is set to take place this year (and therefore the first day of fall), it's important to know what an equinox even is.

So, let's sort this whole "equinox" thing out once and for all. Simply put, an equinox describes those magical, short-lived times of year when day and night are of equal length, which occur at seasonal transition points (hence its relevancy to the first day of fall!). According to Merriam-Webster, the word "equinox" is derived from two Latin words: aequus, for "equal," and nox, for "night"—so its definition makes perfect sense.

Below, we've got more information about this year's fall equinox, plus answers to your most frequently asked questions about the phenomenon. Here's to a great fall!

autumnal equinox 2019 forest 
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When is the first day of fall 2019?

Mark your calendars: The first day of fall in 2019 is Monday, September 29th. (Of course, if you happen to be part of the 10% of the world's population that lives in the southern hemisphere, fall begins in March, and the September equinox actually signals the start of spring. Confusing, we know.)

autumn equinox fall leaves
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How many equinoxes are there in a given year?

There are two equinoxes in the calendar year. The one that occurs in September is known as the autumnal equinox for those of us living in the northern hemisphere, while the one that happens in the spring is known as the vernal equinox.

Why is the fall equinox important?

Well, if we're talking only about the immediate aftermath, the autumnal equinox is important because it marks the beginning of fall. Pass the decorative gourds, please.

But it's also important because after it happens, days get shorter...and our part of the planet gets chillier. Winter is coming, y'all.

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What happens in the fall equinox?

Great question! The equinox isn't all poetry. Scientifically speaking, it's the moment at which the sun is situated just above the earth's equator. This is different than a solstice, which represents one of the two moments in the year when the sun's path is farthest from the equator (either north or south).

fall leaves autumn equinox
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What time is the fall equinox in 2019?

Eastern Daylight Time: For those of you living in areas that abide by the eastern time zone, you can expect the equinox to arrive at 3:50 a.m. EDT.

Central Time: Over in the Central Time Zone, the equinox is at 2:50 p.m. CDT.

Mountain Time: If you happen to live in a Mountain Time Zone area, the equinox will arrive at 1:50 a.m. MDT.

Pacific Time: The Pacific Time Zone can expect the fall equinox to arrive at 12:50 a.m. PDT.

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