The great September debate


The same debate starts every year as the calendar switches from August to September.

Those who love summer and cling to every last bit of warmth butt heads with folks who are setting up their autumn wreaths the moment the clock strikes midnight on Sept. 1. The arguments were fierce on Facebook and Twitter, calls in all caps reminding people when summer actually ends and fall begins.

Team Summer is correct if you’re looking at astrological seasons. The fall equinox does not take place until 3:50 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 23. So congratulations – if you’re getting married the weekend of Sept. 20, you can stake your claim to a summer wedding.

Does September really feel like summer, though? Team Fall would be right if they went from a meteorological point-of-view, in which fall begins in September.

Megan Reynolds put it best in an Aug. 31, 2018 Jezebel article – titled, “Summer Actually Ends in September” – when she wrote: “September is like a weird appendix to summer that everyone ignores, for no reason other than force of habit held over from our school days and the retail industry’s desire to clothe sweaty limbs in sweaters before it is appropriate to do so.”

She argues that while factually summer is around until the equinox, the month’s weather is devoid of summer’s worst qualities but still balmy.

This is where Team Fall gains some more leverage in the tug-of-war. The start of school has always symbolically signaled the end of summer, as kids stow away their beach gear and pick up their backpacks for another 180 days.

Some could also argue that December doesn’t feel much like fall, nor does June pair with spring very well. March is the only month that we, as New Englanders, have come to recognize does not mean the end of its season.

The moment Dec. 1 first comes, malls are filled with the sounds of Christmas music and halls are decked with holly despite several weeks to go before fall even ends. June has long been equated to the start of summer, despite the fact its mostly spring throughout the month.

So that settles it – time to break out the pumpkin spice lattes and kick back with your favorite horror movie with the lights turned out.

Not so fast, though. Josh Lorenzo of the Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang argued in favor of September as a summer month, the same day as the aforementioned Jezebel article.

Lorenzo’s story was an “interview” with the month of September, effectively trying to prove its case to become the official fourth month of summer.

“Let’s face it, I’ve been the least-utilized and most-overlooked autumn month for years,” Lorenzo writes, speaking as September. “Everyone yearns for October, our perennial employee of the season. Autumn’s even implemented a fleece dress code, and all I want to do is wear my bathing suit and flip-flops. I feel my talents would be better served over here at Summer.”

At one point, Lorenzo confronts September on the potential “backlash of leaving Autumn shorthanded.” September responds unconcernedly, saying that it has seen a “significantly diminished role over at Autumn” anyway.

Both sides have their arguments, but while September has gotten a bit warmer over the years, it’s brought nothing but the last vestiges of summer when everyone is just yearning for the season to start all over again.

OK, maybe not everyone. Fall lovers seize on the start of September to wring out every last bit of their favorite season for as long as they can. Don’t get too lost in the fight. Hang up those wreaths, bust out the cornucopias and rip open a bag of Halloween candy. Fall has begun, but don’t get greedy – the season ends Dec. 1.


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