When Is the “Real” First Day of Fall?

maple-leaf-2_300According to the calendar, autumn officially begins on September 22—but many of us start transitioning into the season before (or after) then. We asked Real Simple Facebook fans to share what they consider the first day of fall. Read the fascinating results:

• The 700+ answers involved everything from changes in nature (see: the first frost and leaves turning color) to the first day of school to the day that stores start selling seasonal merchandise.

• Many responders chose the day after Labor Day, while others cited dates in June, August, September, October (Halloween was a big pick), November, December, and even January, depending on where they live—Real Simple readers are global!

• The first “cool” temperatures were a popular sign of the new season… but “cool” temperatures ranged from falling below 70°F all the way up to falling below 100°F.

• Sports played a large role as well: The beginning of football season felt symbolic to some, especially when it meant the sounds of marching bands.

• Of course, the return of signature autumn foods—pumpkin (particularly the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks), apples, chili, soup, and cornbread—were a Real Simple fan choice.

Read the whole thread here, and see below for our favorite answers:

When I can’t walk outside without stepping on a crunchy leaf.
—Krista Y.

The day you go back inside for a jacket.
—Gretchen T.

When the tourists all go home.
—Michael J.

The day I start choosing Oxblood, navy, or dark emerald for my nails.
—Marci E.A.

When your favorite ice cream place changes to their fall hours.
—Amy Z.I.

When the joys of summer are replaced with a cooler breeze, sweaters make their debut in store windows, college football season starts and the harvest of old hopes fills life with abundance once again!
—Shay H.

When the cricket’s chirping slows down and the crickets find a way to get in my house!
—Margie C.L.

What signifies fall to you? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to read how to organize your home with the changing of seasons.


  1. Janet

    When I start wearing socks.

    September 5, 2013 at 5:31 pm
  2. Mary

    LOL Janet! Same here! :D

    September 6, 2013 at 1:13 am
  3. Liz Havens

    When the kids go back to school … ;o)

    September 7, 2013 at 9:01 pm
  4. Tatiana

    When I see school busses and it’s under 100 degrees.

    September 10, 2013 at 1:33 pm

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