The calendar we use today was developed to keep track of time and so we have dates for everything. According to the calendar, summer in 2018 began on June 21 and is supposed to end on September 22. But to many people those are just what we call “official dates” and they have a much different ways of telling when the seasons begin and end.
Many consider the Labor Day holiday to signal the end of summer but as we know, there are still weeks left of summer after Labor Day.
Summer officially ends at the autumnal equinox, when the sun is at zenith, or directly above, the equator. After the autumnal equinox the sun moves south of the equator, leaving behind a chilly autumn in the Northern Hemisphere and beckoning in spring to the Southern Hemisphere.
As most people know, the year is divided into four seasons. These seasons are based on the two equinoxes and the two solstices. The two solstices which denote summer and winter, typically land around June 21 and December 22 and mark the shortest and the longest days of the year. Then there are the autumnal and vernal equinoxes, which fall around September 23 and March 21, these mark the points in the year when the day and the night are of equal lengths. Hence the word equinox, from the Latin roots meaning “equal night.”
We separate the year into meteorological seasons which reflect the average temperature patterns and climate.
The summer solstice tends to fall a little way into summer vacation, the autumnal equinox typically falls at the end of September, a few weeks into the school year.
So, since the school year is beginning now are you ready for the start of autumn? If you’re not, you can always move to the Southern Hemisphere where spring is about to begin. It all depends on your point of view.