Summer is finally over.
Autumn Foliage in Waits River, Vermont
Credit: Ron and Patty Thomas/Getty Images

Despite all the hype surrounding pumpkin spice lattes, Halloween festivities, and fall hikes, you might think fall had already snuck in and stolen the last rays of summer.

Now, you can enjoy your pumpkin spice latte without feeling like you're cheating on summer: Today officially marks the Autumnal equinox, which is to say it's the first day of fall.

What is the Autumnal Equinox?

Also known as the September Equinox, the autumnal equinox occurs when the sun crosses the equator.According to The Farmer's Almanac, both the Southern and Northern hemispheres receive the same amount of sunshine at this time, and day and night are of nearly equal length. The Northern Hemisphere will start seeing shorter days and longer nights, whereas the Southern Hemisphere will see a reversal in seasons due to the Earth's tilt.

What Time Does it Happen?

The first minute of fall varies by time zone.

Central Time

If you live in Chicago or anywhere else in the Central Time Zone, expect the equinox at 3:02 p.m. CDT.

Eastern Time

New York City, Boston, and other cities in the Eastern Time Zone will see the equinox at 4:02 p.m. EDT.

Pacific Time

The first minute of fall in Los Angeles, Seattle, and other Pacific Time Zone cities is at 1:02 p.m PDT.

September Equinox Mythology

Over time, the equinox has inspired ancient mythologies and religious and cultural celebrations. In Greek mythology, fall happens when the harvest goddess Demeter refuses to use her horticultural skills during her daughter’s annual trip to the underworld. Chinese and Vietnamese communities ring in fall with a Moon Festival, complete with mooncakes, lotus, and duck eggs. Japan, on the other hand, celebrates fall with Higan, a Buddhist celebration that invites people to remember loved ones who have passed.

While you might be sad to see your days at the pool come to an end, fall invites a whole host of fun activity. From leaf-peeping excursions, to apple picking, you’ll have a hard time missing that 90 degree weather.