All You Ever Need to Know About Fall

The first few red leaves on the trees start appearing outside Canyon Vista as the fall season arrives. Photo by Riddhi Jakkal

The first few red leaves on the trees start appearing outside Canyon Vista as the fall season arrives. Photo by Riddhi Jakkal

As the leaves outside are changing colors, the air is getting cooler and all the spooky decorations are being hung up.  Autumn is creeping closer every minute and you will probably realize when it strikes. But do you really know what happens during fall? Take a look at these facts and see how much you know about this spooky season.

Did you know that pumpkins were first named by the Greeks? They called this edible object “pepon”, which means large melon. Pumpkins are also in two different families of plants. One is the melon family, which includes watermelons and cantaloupe, and the other family is the cucurbit family which includes squash and cucumbers.

Pumpkins are a main part of autumn decor, mostly found close to Halloween. But do you know when Halloween was put into tradition? Halloween is derived from the term “All Hallows’ Eve” (which occurs on Oct. 31), as the next day was All Hallows’ Day. Halloween originated from ancient Ireland and Scotland around the time of Christ. Those days many people were superstitious and believed that on All Hallows’ Eve spirits of the dead wandered the streets, so they dressed up in scary costumes to ward off evil spirits. Later, during the 5th century, many Catholics dressed up and went from door to door asking for small goodies such as cakes in exchange for the promise of saying prayers for some of the dead relatives of each house. So, Halloween is a holiday mixed of two different traditions.

But, there’s more to fall than Halloween. What about the changing colors? According to Greek legend, autumn begins when Persephone returns to Hades in the underworld. Persephone’s mother, Demeter, the goddess of harvest and grain, is heartbroken when she leaves and allows the plants on Earth to die until her daughter returns to her in the spring. Persephone’s mother does this every year because of her sadness.  Although if you take a closer look, this legend doesn’t entirely make sense because people who live near the Equator don’t even experience the season fall. The temperature remains warm all year around, occasionally dropping a little lower than normal. Those who do experience autumn have fun things to do as the colorful leaves fall down to ground. Superstitious people catch the falling leaves because they believe catching leaves during fall will bring a lucky month for the next year.

So, catch leaves as they fall down and dress up in costumes to scare spirits away. Autumn is filled with spooky superstitions and many others may be lurking beneath the surface of knowledge, waiting or perhaps even hiding from discovery.