Celebrating the Autumn Equinox 2020

September 22, 2020

People have celebrated the autumnal equinox in different ways all over the world. Mabon is a way Pagans celebrated with traditional harvest foods. They feasted together with neighbours to celebrate and give thanks. At the same time this strengthened bonds within the community.

Romans would hold a festival in the name of the Goddess Pomona who was the goddess of fruits and growing items.

In Ancient Greece it was believed that autumn occurred as a result of the taking of the Goddess Persephone who is also known as Cora or Kore. She was taken from her mother Demeter who was the Goddess of Harvest to marry Hades who was God-King of the underworld.

After an intense struggle, Demeter got her daughter back from Hades. However this was only for 9 months of the year. During the three months she spent with Hades Demeter refused to use her divinity to grow plants. This is why the Ancient Greeks believe we have winter.

The Mayans constructed an ancient temple which is the main pyramid of Chicen Itza in Mexico. It used exact astronomical calculations to create the exact angle of the staircase where the Sun shines directly on the equator. It creates a huge snake of sunlight which slides down the stairs.

In Japan the equinox is a national holiday known as Higan-e. This is a Buddhist celebration and celebrates getting across or arriving on the other shore. It looks at the inseparability of the Ying and the Yang and people will choose to perform positive deeds. The Buddha encourages people to look for the middle way thus creating that sense of balance and harmony.