Library 101: Autumnal Equinox

Posted on: Thursday, October 8th, 2015 by Janet Kirby

We have been enjoying some glorious weather recently, days warm enough for sandals and shorts and nights cool enough to snuggle under a blanket.   But with the arrival of the autumnal equinox all this good weather will slowly fade away.  This year the autumnal equinox occurred on September 23rd at 4:31 AM (ET) according to the online Old Farmer’s Almanac.  The word “equinox” derives from the Latin, meaning equal night.  As the sun crosses the equator day and night are equal for everyone in the world.  Because of the slight wobbling of the earth as it rotates around the sun, the exact timing of the equinox varies slightly from year to year.

In ancient cultures autumn, or fall, was an important season.  It is the time to harvest the crops and prepare for the long cold dark winter.  The harvest moon, which is the full moon that is closest to the autumnal equinox, provided light long after the sun had set and farmers could work late into the night getting the last of the crops in.

Pagan religion calls this time to give thanks Mabon, a time for a second harvest.  It is the proper time to harvest grapes, so the ancient Greeks created festivals to celebrate this time.  In Germany, they celebrate the grape harvest during Oktoberfest, which begins during the last week of September.  China has a celebration for the harvest moon, and the Japanese made September 23rd or 24th a national holiday to celebrate the changing of the season and honor their ancestors. 

The library is going to celebrate this special time by presenting a list of DVDs which have seasonal words in the titles, though the contents may not be particularly “autumnally”.  Enjoy these earlier evenings and snuggle up with a good movie.

Legends of the Fall
DVD PN1997 .L3849 2003 
An epic Western saga about a woman and the three sons of a Montana rancher who love her, told against the backdrop of World War I.

The harder they fall  
DVD PN1997 .H23531 
Humphrey Bogart stars as a sportswriter who joins forces with a corrupt boxing promoter. Together, they scheme to deceive a clumsy, seven-foot giant into believing he has a shot at the heavyweight title.

The Fall of the House of Usher  
DVD PN1997 .F2651   
In an aristocratic English family the young lord finds to his horror, while painting his wife's portrait, that as the work progresses life drains from his lady. This is called by some the most outstanding achievement of the horror genre.

Bom yeoreum gaeul gyeoul geurigo bom = Spring, summer, fall, winter-- and spring     
DVD PN1997 .S651995 2003 
It's springtime in a small house floating on a small raft on a small lake, surrounded on all sides by steep walls of forest or stone. Old Monk lives here with his young apprentice. The lesson for Spring is about pain and guilt and conscience, Summer's the cruelty of desire, Autumn's about letting go of rage, and Winter's about penance and finding peace. And so Spring comes around again, and the cycle begins anew, as it must, and within that compass are life, faith, growth, love, jealousy, hate, cruelty, mystery, redemption ... and nature.

A man for all seasons  
DVD PN1997 .M23  
Thomas More, Chancellor of England, has an unquestioning faith. As a devout Catholic, More refuses to support King Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine of Aragon.

Cheyenne Autumn  
DVD   PN1997 .C4487 2006  
A true-life story of three-hundred starving Cheyenne men, women, and children, forcibly resettled in the barren wastelands of Oklahoma, who set out on a desperate 1500-mile trek back to their Yellowstone homeland.

Sol de Otoño = Autumn Sun 
DVD  PN1997 .A985   
A love story set in Buenos Aires in which a Jewish woman, because of the impending visit from her American brother, is forced to create a contrived relationship with a man of her own faith. Unfortunately, the man she finds is actually a Gentile.

Höstsonaten   (Autumn Sun)  
DVD    PN1997 .A975 2013  
After having neglected her children for many years, world famous pianist Charlotte visits her grown daughter Eva in her home. To her surprise she finds her other daughter, Helena, there as well. Helena is mentally disabled, and Eva has taken Helena out of the institution where their mother had placed her.

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