Home » Japanese events » When is the Autumnal Equinox and what does it mean?

When is the Autumnal Equinox and what does it mean?

Autumnal Equinox Day

Do you know “Autumnal Equinox Day”? Many newcomers to Japan may not know it. Like the vernal equinox, the autumnal equinox can be different from the previous year.

It is a little frustrating that we cannot say “what day in September” because there is no fixed date. And we inevitably have to check the date on a calendar.

On this page, we will check the date of the autumnal equinox in 2022 and also look at the meaning of the autumnal equinox.

Click here to learn Japanese language with the best one-on-one Japanese tutoring lessons in person or online.

When is the autumnal equinox day in 2022?

The Autumnal Equinox Day in 2022 will be on Friday, September 23. The calendar around the autumnal equinox in 2022 is shown in the table below.

Autumnal Equinox

9/18 (Sun)

19 (Monday) Respect for the Aged Day

20 (Tue) After the equinoctial week

21 (Wednesday)

22 (Thursday) New Year’s Day

23 (Friday) Autumnal Equinox Day

24 (Sat)

25 (Sun) Autumnal Equinox Day

26 (Monday) After the equinoctial week

* September 23 is the Autumnal Equinox Day (Ochu-no-hi), which is a national holiday.

  • Autumnal Equinox Day is the middle day of a seven-day period that includes the three days before and after the Autumnal Equinox Day.
  • The first day of Higan is called “Higan-iru” and the last day of Higan is called “Higan-atsu”.
  • Buddhist services held on Higan are called Higan-kai.

List of upcoming autumnal equinox days

  • September 23, 2022 Friday Autumnal Equinox Day
  • Saturday, September 23, 2023 Autumnal Equinox Day
  • Sunday, September 22, 2024 Autumnal Equinox Day
  • Monday, September 23, 2025 Autumnal Equinox Day (National Holiday)
  • September 23, 2025 Tuesday Autumnal Equinox Day
  • September 23rd, 2026 Wednesday Autumnal Equinox Day
Autumnal Equinox Day flower

What is the meaning of the Autumnal Equinox?

First, let’s review the meaning of the Autumnal Equinox. The astronomical meaning of the autumnal equinox is different from the calendar meaning. Let’s look at each of them. What are the astronomical “Autumnal Equinox” and “Autumnal Equinox”?

First, let’s look at the astronomical meaning of the “Autumnal Equinox. The astronomical definition of “autumnal equinox” is “the moment when the sun passes through the autumnal equinox” or “when the solar ecliptic longitude is 180°.

The day of that autumnal equinox is the “autumnal equinox. The calendar is based on this “autumnal equinox.

What is the “autumnal equinox” on the calendar?

The calendar’s “autumnal equinox” is one of the 24 solar terms that name the seasons by dividing the year into 24 equal parts, and is the day when the astronomical “autumnal equinox” occurs.

The Autumnal Equinox is paralleled by the preceding and following 24 solar terms. (FY2022)

Hakuro (white dew) 9/8 ⇒ Shubun (autumnal equinox) 9/23 ⇒ Kanro (cold dew) 10/8

The 24 Sekki are sometimes used to indicate a period of time. In this case, it indicates the period until the day before the next Sekki.

In other words, the period from 9/23 to 10/7 is sometimes called “Autumnal equinox. The “Koyomi Handbook” states, “It is the middle division of yin and yang. In other words, it is the day when the length of day and night are the same.

As the saying goes, “hot and cold last until the other day of the year,” from this time onward, the heat eases and the season gradually becomes more pleasant.

Autumnal Equinox Day Susuki

What is the meaning of “Autumnal equinox day”?

On the other hand, “Autumnal equinox day” has another meaning.

The “Autumnal Equinox Day” is the name of a national holiday established by law, and the date is the astronomical autumnal equinox.

It is a little confusing, but the autumnal equinox and the autumnal equinox day have different meanings.

Let’s summarize.

  • Autumnal Equinox : One of the 24 solar terms
  • Autumn Equinox Day : National holiday to honor ancestors and remember those who have passed away.

Autumnal Equinox Day” + “Respect for the Aged Day” = “Silver Week”?

Silver Week will become a four-day weekend in 2026 and 2032.


Year 2026

September 19 (Saturday)   

September 19(Sat.)

September 20(Sun.)        

September 21 (Mon) Respect for the Aged Day

September 22 (Tue) National Holiday

September 23 (Wed) Autumnal Equinox Day

Year 2032

September 18 (Saturday)   

September 18(Sat)

September 19(Sun)           

September 20 (Mon) Respect for the Aged Day

September 21 (Tue) National Holiday

September 22 (Wed) Autumnal Equinox Day


Autumnal Equinox Day falls on or around September 23 and is a national holiday. The week around the Autumnal Equinox is called “Autumnal Equinox Day,” when Buddhist services are held at temples and people visit graves to comfort the spirits of their ancestors.

This day is also the day when the length of day and night are equal, just like the vernal equinox. This is the time when the heat of summer ends and autumn begins to deepen.

Related article: