Celebrate autumn with rituals, food, and books

    Rituals are at the core of most cultures, and what better time of the year to establish or refine a family or community ritual than the Coming of Fall/Autumnal Equinox?


    Autumnal Equinox is a time of the year where balance is achieved, as it is with the Spring Equinox when daylight and darkness are of the same length. For some it is a time for purging, purifying and planting new seeds or ideas. We can move in rhythm with the Autumnal Equinox by establishing new ideals and connecting our internal climate with the external season. Through contemplative practices such as meditation and introspection, our connection to our new seeds will be what “will come to fruition by the following fall” (Andrews, 2004).

    The Autumnal Equinox is a time of harvesting and re-evaluating the past cycle or year. The Autumnal Equinox gives us all a chance to be farmers in the fields, letting go of the dying and preparing for the rebirth. The Autumnal Equinox is a powerful time to express gratitude, celebrate abundance and welcome a new cycle of rest, reflection and renewal.

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    As with any celebration, feasting is a great way to honor the season, show gratitude for nature’s offering and connect with self and loved ones.

    Consider feasting with seasonal foods. Fill a cornucopia, create a sacred space and decorate it with food, or even create a new recipe.   Need ingredients?  Here’s a brief list of what’s in season locally: turnips, pumpkin, brussell sprouts, winter squash, summer squash, tomatoes, lima beans, snap peas, spinach, corn, cantaloupe, cucumbers, broccoli, and radishes.

    You can also visit these sites for more a comprehensive listing of what’s in season to compliment your cooking this time of year:

    Simple Steps

    Sustainable Communities online

    Field to plate


    Stories are another a great way to introduce children to seasonal changes and our connection to nature. Here is a brief list:

    Autumn Equinox by Ellen Jackson
    It’s Fall (Celebrate the Seasons) by Linda Glaser
    The Dandelion Seed by Joseph Anthony
    Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert
    Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert
    Autumn Leaves by Ken Robbins
    Autumnbling by Douglass Florian
    Why Do Leaves Change Color by Betsy Maestro

    So this September 22nd, why not move in rhythm with the season by honoring yourself, your family and your community?

    How will you honor the season? We’d love to hear your story!

    Northwest Philly Parents is a partnership between Newsworks and Germantown Avenue Parents.  

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