Although Pumpkin Spice Lattes are already out, fall in the Chicago area hasn’t really started yet – but it’s close.
As the fall equinox approaches, here’s a look at some of the important fall dates to keep in mind, from when Illinois’ fall colors will be most brilliant to when Illinois will turn back its clock.
September 23: autumnal equinox
While the meteorological fall began on September 1, the autumnal equinox begins on Saturday. And you know what that means: shorter days, longer nights.
“After the fall equinox, the days become shorter than the nights because the sun continues to rise later and night falls earlier,” reads an article in the Old Farmers Almanac. “It ends with the winter solstice, after which the days begin to lengthen again.”
September 20-23: Chicagohenge
Just around the time of the fall equinox, Chicagoans get an extra special treat in the form of the biannual “Chicagohenge.”
“At the equinoxes, the Sun rises due east and sets due west,” says a blog on the Adler Planetarium. “Because Chicago’s streets are built on a grid system aligned with the compass, at the equinox we can see the sun rise and set perfectly on our streets.”
According to Adler, the best days to visit Chicagohenge this fall are September 20-23.
Late September to mid-October: “peak” fall foliage in Illinois
According to the Smoky Mountains 2023 Fall Foliage Forecast Map, some areas of northern and eastern Illinois have already started to change color. By the week of September 25, these colors will be a little bolder, according to the map.
As these colors lighten, leaves in central Illinois will begin to change, according to the map, around the week of October 2.
According to the map, peak fall foliage in Illinois appears to be between the week of October 9th and 23rd.
September 29: Super Harvest Moon
The fourth and final consecutive supermoon of 2023 will occur on September 29, Adler said. Since it is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox, it is nicknamed the “Harvest Moon,” Adler added.
November 5: Go back in time
Daylight Saving Time is a clock change that typically begins in the spring and ends in the fall in what is often called “spring forward” and “roll back.”
Under federal law, daylight saving time begins on the second Sunday in March and continues until the first Sunday in November in most of the United States.
This year, that date falls on November 5, with the clocks moving back an hour at 2 a.m. that morning.