When Does The Autumnal Equinox Happen In The U.S.? Here's What To Expect

It's finally time for the autumn equinox, one out of two days a year when the day and night are completely equal in length. This marks the official start of the fall, and the winter months. Equinoxes happen on opposite sides of the equator, so when the autumn equinox is happening in the Northern Hemisphere, the spring (or vernal) equinox is happening on the southern side of the equator. But when does the autumn equinox happen in the U.S., exactly? This year, the autumn equinox happens (meaning the sun begins to set) on Sept. 22 at 3:02 p.m. Central Time, so if you live in the northern hemisphere, you can expect to see the sky darken around that time.

One thing that's pretty cool about the equinox is that it happens across the northern hemisphere SIMULTANEOUSLY, but at different times. The equinox happens (a.k.a. day begins turning to night) at 3:02 p.m. Central Time while it's happening at 4:02 p.m. Eastern Time, and at 1:02 p.m. Pacific Time. You can check where the equinox is happening in your city using this calculator.

But if you're someone who watches the winter approach while kicking and screaming, there are always a few things you can do to try to embrace the changes.

Get Out Your Winter Clothes And Put Away Your Summer Ones

Sure, it's depressing to put away your summer clothes; it's the end of an era. But just think about it this way: The more room you make for your winter clothes, the more bulky sweaters you get to wear while cupping a mug of cocoa by a windowsill, and that is what life is about. So go through your your sweaty summer threads, throw them all in the wash, and then go through each item one by one.

If anything is ratty, or ill-fitting, or just not-your damn style anymore, GET RID OF IT. You can manage to donate a few things. Besides, how much storage room do you really have? Might as well save as much space as possible. You could even throw a fun fall clothing exchange, like the ones you always say you're going to show up for but never do.

Check Out Your Equinox Horoscope

Pagans used to build altars to the change in season to celebrate the equinox, but since the phrase “building an altar” just feels a little too "I'm-not-religious-but-I'm-spiritual" for some of us, you could always give a nod to the pagan ritual with a more modern kind of take on this practice, by placing some pumpkins on your doorstep, or hanging a wreath of autumn colors on your door.

In addition to that, you might want to check out the horoscope I wrote for the Autumn Equinox. Even if you aren't a fan of astrology, you can look at it for fun, just to see what astrology has to say about the potential for growth we'll all feel on the day of the equinox, when the Sun moves into Libra and we have literally five other planets in the sign of Virgo, a sign known for self-improvement.

Just do SOMETHING that allows you to embrace the change of seasons and welcome the approaching winter. Go to a Halloween party. Wear the costume. Participate. Give yourself a reason to be excited for the Fall. Just try to be a good f*cking sport for once in your life and see how it works for you.

Make A Vision Board To Force Yourself To Be Positive

Think of where you were a year ago today, and how far you may have come in the time since then. You've most likely been working toward your own growth, so now is a good time to see how far you've come and to set goals to carry you through the winter months. What did you want for yourself last year at this time? Luckily, Facebook will remind you on a daily basis if you have or haven't made any progress toward your own goals, so maybe use that as a reminder.

You won't really be able to see the equinox, aside from just watching the sun set at an earlier time than it does on any other day. But you might be able to feel that creeping sensation of cuffing season coming around the corner. You might feel the urge to renew that Netflix subscription and make sure you've got as many throw pillows on your couch as you'll need for a cozy winter inside. You might also experience some desire to think about what you want for the upcoming year, and how far you've come. The autumn always brings that back-to-school motivation with it.

Sit down on Sept. 22 at 3:02 p.m. and think about what you want in the next year. Cut out some photos from magazines, get specific in you visualizations. Write yourself a check for a certain amount of money you want to make and throw that on there.

We all celebrate the fall in our own ways, but if you're like me and you dread the winter months, this is one way to embrace the inevitable changes coming your way and to think optimistically about everything a new season brings you. Happy autumn!