When is Autumnal Equinox Day ?
On September 23 or 24, the Autumnal Equinox is celebrated as a national holiday in Japan. In Japan, it is known as 'Shubun-no-hi'. The exact day can vary due to astronomical observations, so the date for the following year is usually announced in early spring.
The Autumnal Equinox marks the day that the sun crosses over the equator from the Northern to the Southern hemisphere.
The sun rises exactly on the east and sets exactly in the west on this day, making day and night equal in length.
From this day forward, the days will begin to become shorter than nights in the Northern hemisphere.
Autumnal Equinox Day was established as a national holiday in 1945, though the holiday has its root in Shinto traditions.
The Japanese use Autumnal Equinox Day to pay respects to deceased family members, visit family graves and hold family reunions in honour of those who have passed.
If Respect for the aged day falls on 21 September and Autumnal Equinox falls on 23 September, then 22 September is declared a holiday - creating 'Silver Week'.