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When is the First Day of Fall?

Autumnal Equinox Dates for 2013 Through 2016

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First Day of Fall Photo

Just a smattering of color is visible on the first day of fall in Massachusetts.

© 2008 Kim Knox Beckius
The first day of fall is eagerly anticipated in New England, where the glorious fall foliage season is an unequaled annual spectacle. But when, exactly, is the first day of fall?

Fall officially gets underway with the autumnal equinox, the date in September when hours of day and night are roughly equal. Here are the dates for the first day of fall for 2013 through 2016:

Autumnal Equinox Dates

September 22, 2013
September 23, 2014
September 23, 2015
September 22, 2016

Of course, just because the calendar says it's the first day of fall doesn't necessarily mean that New England will experience fall temperatures--nor fall colors--on that date. There are many natural factors that influence the progression of the fall foliage season. Learn a bit about why leaves change color, and, if you're hoping to see spectacular autumn hues, these tips on how to see fall foliage at its peak will help you time a trip so that the odds are stacked in your favor. Hint: The first day of fall is probably too early in the season to see strong color anywhere but the northernmost regions of New England.

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