Today (22 September) marks the official start of autumn and end of summer in an  event called the Autumn Equinox.

However, if you don’t know the first thing about the event and what it means we have created a guide detailing everything to know.

As well as information about the Autumn Equinox we have also compiled  a list of stargazing hotspots to watch it.

What is the Autumn Equinox and how is it celebrated?

During the Autumn Wquinox, or Mabon, the sun will be exactly above the earth’s equator moving from north to south, making day and night nearly equal in length – about 12 hours – throughout the world.

The sun will shine almost equally on the Northern and Southern hemispheres and this only happens twice a year.

For the rest of the year, the sun shines unevenly over the Northern and Southern Hemispheres because Earth’s axis is tilted.

The celebration has links to paganism originating from the Celts who used the occasion to thank nature and the earth for a good summer harvest.

In previous years, pagans would have feasts, fires, offerings and sacrifices to celebrate the equinox.

It was historically celebrated at Stonehenge in Wiltshire.  

In the modern day it is simply marked as a time to start preparing for Halloween and get out jumpers out from storage.

Lancashire Telegraph: People take part in the North East Skinny Dip at Druridge Bay in Nothumberland (Owen Humphreys/PA)People take part in the North East Skinny Dip at Druridge Bay in Nothumberland (Owen Humphreys/PA)

In 2018, more than 600 people stripped naked to welcome the Autumn Equinox in the cold waters of the North Sea in order to raise money for charity, Mind.

What does the equinox mean?

Equinox happens twice a year the spring equinox already took place in March.

From now until next spring, the days will grow significantly shorter and the dark nights will be longer.

When is it?

The Autumn Equinox takes place today (22 September). It takes place every September, although the date may be subject to change.

In the UK, this will officially happen at 8:21 pm BST.

Where to stargaze in Lancashire?

Many astronomers use the event as an opportunity to get out and stargaze.

This year will be especially beautiful as you will still be able to see the harvest moon which was at its fullest on Monday (20 September).



According to the National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, here are some of the best star-gazing spots in Lancashire:

  • Pendle Hill
  • Bowland Knotts in the Ribble Valley
  • The council car park in Slaidburn
  • Beacon Fell
  • Gisburn Forest


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