Young women playing in autumn leaves during the 2022 fall equinox.

When Is The First Day Of Fall This Year? The Autumn Equinox, Explained

Here’s how to make the most of all the changes to come.

by Rosey Baker
Originally Published: 

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, plus 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 is the first day of the fall 2022 equinox? This year, it happens (meaning the sun begins to set) on Thursday, Sept. 22 at approximately 9:03 p.m. ET, so if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, you can expect to see the sky to *really* 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 9:03 p.m. Eastern Time while it's happening at 8:03 p.m. Central Time, and at 6:03 p.m. Pacific Time. You can check when the fall equinox is happening in your city using a Time and Date 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:

Jim Arbogast/Getty Images

How To Make The Most Out Of The 2022 Fall Equinox

Get Out Your Winter Clothes And Put Away Your Summer Wardrobe

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. So go through your sweaty summer threads, throw them all in the wash, and then go through each item, one by one. If anything is torn, ill-fitting, or just not your 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.

Check Out Your Fall Equinox Horoscope

Pagans used to build altars to the change in season to celebrate the equinox, but since the phrase “building an altar” may feel a bit daunting for some, 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.

You can also check out your autumn equinox horoscope. Even if you aren't a fan of astrology, you can look at it for fun to see what astrology has to say about the potential for growth you'll feel on the day of the equinox, when the sun moves into Libra and other planets shift into Virgo, a sign known for self-improvement.

Jamie Grill/Getty Images

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 whether you have made any progress toward your own goals, so maybe use that as a reminder.

Sit down on Sept. 22 at 9:03 p.m. and think about what you want in the next year. Cut out some photos from magazines and get specific in your 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, these are some of the ways to embrace the inevitable changes coming your way and to think optimistically about everything a new season brings you.

This article was originally published on