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Autumn Begins

When: September 23

What: The autumnal equinox is when the sun lines up with the earth’s equator and the day and nights are of roughly equal length everywhere on Earth. This day ushers in the new season. But autumn has come to mean something more than just sun movement. The fall season brings to mind cooler weather, football games, Halloween and pumpkin pie. For some, fall marks the end of the stifling heat and the start of cooler days, the beginning of a new season and a new harvest. Celebrate the new season when fall begins on Sept. 23.

Background: Previous to the 16th century, the term “harvest” was used to describe the fall season. Over time, people began to refer to the season as autumn. Harvest came to be the act of reaping itself, while autumn represented the entire season. Autumn, or fall, came to represent the falling of the leaves or the falling of the season. States and cities throughout the United States celebrate the beginning of the fall season in different ways. People are encouraged to celebrate the harvest season by trying new seasonal foods, by working on outdoor activities and by getting festive.

Story Hook: A variety of groups can campaign around the season, such as restaurants, grocers and food vendors who can promote seasonal specials. Vintners and beer brewers would do well to focus on their newest seasonal beverages and draw attention to the different flavors that make an appearance with the fall. Producers of baked goods and treats can also recognize the new season by focusing on unique baked goods that appear during the fall months. With the cooler weather and beautiful leaves, fall is a popular time for outdoor activity. Outerwear manufacturers can use the time to promote their cooler-weather goods. Popular fall tourist destinations, such as New England with its changing leaves, can use the season to promote tourist activities and hotspots. Cold and flu medicine manufacturers should focus on the high risk of illnesses during the fall months and educate people on preventative measures, such as hand washing.

Story Pitch: Each year, people mark the beginning of fall with harvest parties and fall festivals. What are some unique ways in which people can celebrate the start of the new season? What should people be aware of as the new season makes its debut? Consider the following as you make your pitch:

  • What sorts of seasonal foods and flavors become popular in the fall?
  • What illnesses rear their ugly heads during the chillier months?
  • Are certain outdoor activities more popular in the fall months?
  • How can parents of young children help to prevent the pesky illnesses and colds associated with colder months?

Tips: Provide contact information for someone who can discuss the health risks that crop up during the fall. Additionally, someone with knowledge of the food industry can provide insight into popular trends and flavors available during the fall months.

Resources:

American Culinary Federation
(904) 484-0247
www.acfchefs.org

American Public Health Association
(202) 777-2742
comments(at)apha.org
www.apha.org

Brewers Association
(303) 447-0816
www.brewersassociation.org

Center for Disease Control and Prevention
(800) 232-4636
cdcinfo(at)cdc.gov
www.cdc.gov

National Institutes of Health
301-496-4000
nihinfo(at)od.nih.gov
www.nih.gov

–Researched, compiled & written by Kimberly Cooper
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