As long as my memory will go back, I've been taught that the first of August is the beginning of Autumn. That's just how we say it too—-The Beginning of Autumn. It might require you to wear something long sleeve at night and run the air conditioning at the same time inside. We also celebrate..The Beginning of Winter and Spring. I see the signs all around me announcing the beginning of each season because my great aunt religiously pointed them out to me. Night time temps are one of my first favorites but the sun is the most obvious. This year it was most obvious first with the change in light and intensity of the light. The light has a orange pinkish glow. It comes across the land differently. You not only see it but feel it on your skin differently. The clouds reflect the light with a noticed softness. There will still be warm days but the nights are much cooler. The two changes start a process in the trees that stop chlorophyll production. These teachings I received as a child are not religious to me although they are used for very religious worship purposes in China and other cultures. Having this knowledge drives the futures markets and feed prices. Markets and money makers know when the harvest will come and watch every sign they can to work the system.
I learned it because my family were growers and reapers. It was important to know when to harvest a plant. It could mean too much or too little maturity. Moisture content played a major role at market. That would affect the price. My family was mostly furniture builders and knew a great deal about the quality of lumber and timber products. So…they grew both edible crops and usable lumber.
Depending on a wet or dry summer will dictate the colors of fall. A dry summer means less green chlorophyll in the leaves and the other colors which are yellows and oranges/reds are more dominate. When the chlorophyll quits being produced at the beginning of Autumn, the other colors that were always there start to show their brilliance. Now once fall has started and the color begins to change, a tiny group of cells affected by the position of the sun in the sky will start to die. When those cells have died completely, the green of chlorophyll is absent and the leaf is officially dead. The death of the cells holding the leaf to the tree causes the leaf to fall from the tree—–that is where the name Fall comes from. The length of Autumn color depends on how much rain the region receives. Lots of rain will cause the leaves to fall off too quickly because the row of cells holding the leaf to the tree is fragile at this time of year. It can not withstand a heavy rainfall. So to sum this up, less rain in the summer means a prettier fall because of the lack of chlorophyll and—–less rain in Autumn prolongs the color allowing the leaf to stay on the tree longer and letting the yellows and oranges/reds show through.
Fall or Autumn as I prefer to call it, is widely accepted as coming on September 22. For me though, September 22 is the middle of the Autumn season and the end of November marks the beginning of Winter. Autumn begins in August when that little layer of cells starts to die at the base of the leaf. September 22 is the middle of Autumn because it can be peak season for the leaf change. By then—some leaves have lost all of their chlorophyll or green dominate color. By November, the end of Autumn has taken place and the leaves are off the trees.
I was raised( if you are a plant)/reared( children are reared and plants are raised) by folklore and traditions passed through many generations on how to recognize the beginning of seasons. I don't even think about it as it is as much a part of me as eating chocolate. NC is a melting pot of mainly people fleeing religious persecution from other nations. But these people were determined and industrious and read the signs and learned from the local Indians. The first NCers of course were Indians and their signs of Autumn traditionally hold synonymous with my traditions. They taught the first settlers and I'm fortunate enough to still have those stories and teachings passed down to me. Now that was a lot of justifying as to why Autumn has arrived at my house—-but for me—I see it, smell it, taste it, feel it, and by tradition have no choice but to say…. Welcome Fall Ya'll.
Here is the calendar announcing the beginning of Autumn as August 7th. It's from Wikipedia and is a Chinese calendar but old folklore calendars in NC are similar.
In my search for support and information I ran across a post at Tangled Branches weblog. She has used the same references. It was good to see another Autumn supporter for August.
Info below taken from:
List of solar terms
|315°||start of spring||立春
|Lập xuân||Feb 4|
|Vũ thủy||Feb 19||more rain than snow|
|345°||awakening of insects||驚蟄 (惊蛰)
|Kinh trập||Mar 5||lit. awakening of hibernating insects. See the note at Chinese calendar#Solar term.|
|Xuân phân||Mar 21||lit. spring division (or center)|
|15°||clear and bright||清明
|Thanh minh||Apr 5||time for tending graves|
|30°||grain rain||穀雨 (谷雨)
|Cốc vũ||Apr 20||lit. grain rain: rain helps grain grow|
|45°||start of summer||立夏
|Lập hạ||May 6|
|60°||grain full||小滿 (小满)
|Tiểu mãn||May 21||grains are plump|
|75°||grain in ear||芒種 (芒种)
|Mang chủng||Jun 6||lit. awns (beard of grain) grow|
|Hạ chí||Jun 21||lit. summer extreme (of sun's height)|
|Tiểu thử||Jul 7|
|Đại thử||Jul 23|
|135°||start of autumn||立秋
|Lập thu||Aug 7|
|150°||limit of heat||處暑 (处暑)
|Xử thử||Aug 23||lit. dwell in heat|
|Bạch lộ||Sep 8||condensed moisture makes dew white|
|Thu phân||Sep 23||lit. autumn division (or center)|
|Hàn lộ||Oct 8|
|Sương giáng||Oct 23||appearance of frost and descent of temperature|
|225°||start of winter||立冬
|Lập đông||Nov 7|
|Tiểu tuyết||Nov 22|
|Đại tuyết||Dec 7|
|Đông chí||Dec 22||lit. winter extreme (of sun's height)|
|Tiểu hàn||Jan 6|
|Đại hàn||Jan 20|