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When Does Summer Really End?

Last Day of Summer

Summer is the season for basking in the warm sun and rejoicing in the freedom of summer vacation. So when the rest and relaxation is shooed away for cooler days and the start of school, it’s easy to forget that the summer season is far from over.

Many consider Labor Day the final hurrah of summer, but we still have a few weeks after that celebratory first Monday of September. Summer officially ends at the autumnal equinox, when the sun is at zenith, or directly above, the equator. After the autumnal equinox the sun moves south of the equator, leaving behind a chilly autumn in the Northern Hemisphere and beckoning in spring to the Southern Hemisphere.

The year is divided into the four seasons based on the two equinoxes and the two solstices. The summer and winter solstices, which typically land around June 21 and December 22, mark the shortest and the longest days of the year. The autumnal and vernal equinoxes, which fall around September 23 and March 21, mark the points in the year when the day and the night are of equal lengths. Hence the word equinox, from the Latin roots meaning “equal night.” Astronomically speaking, these four solar events mark the middle of the seasons rather than their beginning and ending, but we separate the year into meteorological seasons which reflect the average temperature patterns and climate.

Just as the summer solstice tends to fall a little ways into summer vacation, the autumnal equinox typically falls at the end of September, a few weeks into the school year and well after the Dog Days, the hottest period of the summer.

Are you ready for the start of autumn? Or, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, have you been looking forward to the warmth of spring? Let us know below.

84 Comments

  1. Stev -  September 7, 2016 - 6:43 am

    Well this was quite informational, I didn’t expect all of the hostile comments though. I find this topic fascinating, Our winters here in MN are pretty brutal. But the rest of the time it’s lovely. I sought the answer to this question because I’m not ready for summer to end lol.

    Reply
  2. Random person -  September 6, 2016 - 10:53 am

    OMG
    Loving the comments. Summer ends when the first snow comes down for me. Until then i swim and smile at the heat. Bye now!

    Reply
  3. John -  September 4, 2016 - 7:44 pm

    Oh, and don’t forget that in Australia and New Zealand, if it hasn’t already been mentioned, that we start Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring on December 1, March 1, June 1 and September 1.

    December 1 and June 1 were the dates that colonial military were issued summer and winter uniforms, apparently.

    Reply
  4. Jane hiu -  September 1, 2016 - 4:15 pm

    The vernal equinox is not on March 21, it is actually on March 20, get it right.

    Reply
    • Mary juty -  September 1, 2016 - 4:16 pm

      Yes you go girl. I totally agree ;)

      Reply
    • Dale Sanders -  September 2, 2016 - 7:09 pm

      It stated AROUND Sept 23 and Mar 21. It varies from year to year. GET IT RIGHT YOURSELF!!

      Reply
    • Boi -  September 4, 2016 - 2:16 pm

      I Like your usernames.

      Reply
    • Donna Benson -  September 4, 2016 - 7:05 pm

      WOW! I guess Jane hiu and Mary juty have never been off by a day in their whole lives!

      Reply
    • Alaina -  September 6, 2016 - 11:28 am

      OMG! I Think that is it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Reply
    • Obvi! -  September 6, 2016 - 3:34 pm

      really! you had to do that…., WOW that says a lot about a person

      Reply
  5. bob man -  August 31, 2016 - 3:32 pm

    waoh

    Reply
  6. Jackie -  August 31, 2016 - 3:08 am

    As is typical of anything ‘global’, the people in the USA forget that the planet has two hemispheres. Stop using “we” when you’re doing something that should apply for everyone. The USA is is the same size geographically as Australia but the seasons are totally opposite.

    Reply
  7. Someone on the Internet -  August 29, 2016 - 8:36 pm

    U know….

    I Used to be part of a solstices

    But now…

    I AM AN ICE PARTICLE IN THE UNIVERSE.

    Reply
  8. Rachel -  August 29, 2016 - 9:58 am

    Everybody idiots

    Reply
  9. Sylvie -  August 29, 2016 - 9:08 am

    So uhh.. when does it actually end? Did I miss it..?

    Reply
    • Jess -  August 30, 2016 - 6:12 am

      “summer and winter solstices, which typically land around June 21 and December 22, mark the shortest and the longest days of the year. The autumnal and vernal equinoxes, which fall around September 23 and March 21″

      This is the answer the author is going with- it is actually a very debated thing depending on who you ask which is why they’ve included the tidbit of “astronomically speaking…”

      Personally I also like the two equinoxes and solstices–Calendars tend to already have them listed, so I don’t have to worry about it any extra :)

      Reply
  10. MARK -  August 23, 2016 - 5:58 pm

    I don’t like summer to well. It’s to hot and humid here in Georgia. Even though its nice to go on vacation, which I do mainly in the summer. I like going to the beach. I prefer autumn and spring any day over summer.

    Reply
  11. JOE JOE -  December 22, 2015 - 11:40 pm

    HERE IN BAJA CALIFORNIA ITS SUMMER ALL YEAR LONG, except for those awful 3 days of rain we get.

    Reply
    • anthony -  December 31, 2015 - 8:07 am

      i thought y’all needed rain?

      Reply
  12. Claudia -  September 27, 2015 - 11:32 pm

    I’m a native Floridian and have lived in all the far corners of our state as well as a few central towns. We have 2 seasons here. Summer, which lasts about 11 months and Christmas, when it gets fairly cool sometimes. More and more people seem to be flocking here to live out their days and most of them complain constantly about the humidity and their high electric bills.

    Reply
    • soljagurl1212 -  September 29, 2015 - 11:01 am

      Christmas is a season? I thought it was Winter……… ???????

      Reply
      • joe -  October 2, 2015 - 5:28 pm

        funny

        Reply
      • Dznutz -  March 13, 2016 - 12:30 pm

        if u could read between the line up would see the humor in what the writer was saying, u simpleton/ jack wagon

        Reply
        • TapL -  August 20, 2016 - 7:47 pm

          LOL

          Reply
        • Alicia -  August 22, 2016 - 5:20 am

          This person could be a non-native speaker of English or have any number of reason for asking that question. If you’re going to insult people for no reason, I’d advise that you first learn to capitalize, type out the full word “you,” and realize that “between the line up” is definitely not a phrase. For my part, I’m wondering if “jack wagon” should be one word or hyphenated. What a fascinating discussion you’ve started.

          Reply
          • hai -  August 22, 2016 - 3:37 pm

            . . . Why did you decide to get up at 5:20 and browse random articles in an online dictionary? And furthermore, write a whole block of text criticizing someone.

          • Boi -  September 4, 2016 - 2:19 pm

            boi

      • Sarah -  August 20, 2016 - 9:47 am

        It’s just the tense of the verb. Yesterday, I began removing my window screens to wash the windows. Thank heavens:this chore could have been begun weeks earlier.

        Reply
    • BOBBY -  October 16, 2015 - 7:20 pm

      LOL! VERY FUNNY CLAUDIA U SO WEIRD :D

      Reply
    • Hgjuyguky -  August 29, 2016 - 9:53 am

      I hate you Claudia

      Reply
      • walker -  September 6, 2016 - 7:32 am

        that is not called for hgiuyguky and what kind of name is that

        Reply
    • Hgjuyguky -  August 29, 2016 - 9:55 am

      You are a meanie

      Reply
    • Vtrtvutvhutrvhutn -  August 29, 2016 - 9:57 am

      Paste

      Reply
    • Justin -  September 4, 2016 - 9:41 pm

      Florida is probably one of the few places in the northern hemisphere where you’ll see people hanging Christmas lights barefooted and in swimwear. :)

      Reply
  13. Em -  September 23, 2015 - 5:41 am

    Hi, please can you do one on the difference between began and begun?

    Reply
  14. Rik -  September 22, 2015 - 6:28 pm

    Summer ends when I can no longer wear shorts and “T” Shirt comfortably…when daily high temps stay below 68°, generally means we’re in Autumn and I’m just being stubborn wearing shorts. ☺

    Reply
  15. KD34 -  September 22, 2015 - 11:25 am

    Hi!!! Right now, I’m at school and our class is looking up words for our Vocab unit. #KellyCouger

    Reply
  16. Catherine -  September 22, 2015 - 11:22 am

    All of my life I have always been told that summer ends on my mother’s birthday- September 20th.

    Reply
    • Alex Nguyen -  September 23, 2015 - 10:57 am

      It doesn’t always end on September 20th. Sometimes it might be September 21st, 22st, or even the 23rd! So it would not always be on your mom’s birthday. Sometimes it does. Sometimes, it doesn’t.

      Reply
      • spellcheck -  August 24, 2016 - 5:13 pm

        22st is improper, it would be 22nd

        Reply
    • Flairlight -  August 22, 2016 - 5:21 pm

      This year, school started on my dad’s b-day……….August 15

      Reply
      • morgannah -  August 27, 2016 - 3:26 pm

        Um, that’s not really relevant

        Reply
  17. Adeel Haider -  May 17, 2015 - 12:43 am

    In some countries Labor day is on first sept while in others on first may.

    Reply
    • Badguy -  September 22, 2015 - 11:51 am

      Tonail=delicious food.

      Reply
      • nikki -  September 23, 2015 - 10:59 am

        lol i love summer <3

        Reply
        • Pies:P -  November 21, 2015 - 11:18 am

          Lol i love minecraft <3

          Reply
      • carray -  August 25, 2016 - 5:42 am

        thats gross Badguy!!:(P

        Reply
      • Dale Sanders -  September 2, 2016 - 7:19 pm

        Tonail or not to nail. That is the question. Screws hold much better than nails. So, toscrew or not to screw is more appropriate. However, have a blast with your TOENAIL cuisine!!

        Reply
  18. Peter -  September 6, 2013 - 3:06 am

    Leaf pick up day is the indicater that “Summer has left the building”.

    Reply
  19. Was Nubiles zoya -  May 21, 2013 - 2:18 pm

    Hi there, always i used to check website posts here early in the dawn, since i enjoy to learn more and more.

    Reply
  20. Respiratory Therapist -  September 12, 2010 - 10:24 pm

    My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

    Reply
  21. AMY-LOU -  September 10, 2010 - 9:55 am

    Also i would have to say fall is the best of them all but i do like summer!!!!!!!!!! Can you say bathing suits, no school, playing in the mud with trucks, and hanging by the campfires!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hello!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Because that’s the way we get down in a hick town!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
    • soljagurl1212 -  September 29, 2015 - 11:05 am

      hahaha yeah me 2 i love mud ridin but we play on 4-wheelers! trucks to! but i like hangin out by the campfire and you know us + Bud Light = FUN!!!!

      Reply
  22. AMY-LOU -  September 10, 2010 - 9:51 am

    I live in Florida in a little town called perry which is a hick town so i’m a country girl, but this year rocked it felt like summer durring my birthday which is in Jan. The day summer is over is sept. 23 here so i aint got long!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But if i’m lucky my b-day will be nice and warm and not cold,wet, and soggy!!!!!! GROSS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  23. Boots -  September 8, 2010 - 7:40 am

    Summer is officially over for me when I put the cover on the air conditioner.
    And here in Minnesota that’s Sept. 1st.

    Reply
    • sea n price -  June 22, 2016 - 3:13 pm

      summer ends in africa

      Reply
  24. To J.D. from K.I. -  September 8, 2010 - 6:14 am

    The first day of rainning for a month and so cooling outside. Such a relief. This year’s summer is extremely hot and humid over the Pacific Ocean, but today I smell soothing autumn comining in.

    I prefer autumn to fall becasue it sounds better although I liked fall better back in the junior high because I could not spell autumn right.

    The coming season is the time to reap a harvest.

    Reply
  25. Dexter -  September 6, 2010 - 2:40 pm

    Summer will be over on September 22!

    Reply
    • angel -  August 25, 2016 - 3:16 pm

      wow

      Reply
  26. Faith -  September 5, 2010 - 10:09 pm

    Labor day is 2 words not 1!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  27. summer is hot -  September 4, 2010 - 5:22 pm

    Summer will be over when I am able to sit straight up in the chair.

    Reply
  28. Trudge164 -  September 4, 2010 - 1:35 pm

    I live in Florida so our only two seasons are 1) Hot-muggy-wet and 2)Not so hot-muggy-wet. Or you can call them Hurricane Season and Not Hurricane season.

    Reply
    • carray -  August 25, 2016 - 5:46 am

      so true
      for me id choose “not hurricane season”

      Reply
  29. Ferpius -  September 4, 2010 - 1:25 pm

    Now that I am down south like others, Florida from where ever up north, summer for me has increased. Seeing how we don’t leave the 80 degree temps. until Oct. or Nov. it has extended my summers & decreased fall. My winters have delightfully shrunk from the 4-5 months of 20 & 30 degree temps to a week or two of frost.

    Reply
  30. daisy's mama -  September 4, 2010 - 12:03 pm

    When the nights are cool and the many shades of autumn color the trees – that’s the real sign of fall for me. When you can smell the scent of burning leaves and feel the excitement of Friday night football – that’s fall. Starting early in Tennessee this year, with mornings in the 50s and 60s. Best time of year!

    Reply
  31. summer is hot -  September 4, 2010 - 8:00 am

    It is a black orstrich but I think it is too posh for my workplace. My baggy senior coworkers are so picky about what others have.

    Reply
  32. summer is hot -  September 4, 2010 - 7:57 am

    I wonder if I should change my bag for fall from the one of the light color.

    Reply
  33. Sampath -  September 4, 2010 - 12:10 am

    I live in the west of Sri Lanka. It is almost always summer here! There would be a bit of rain November and considerably heavy rains around April, but apart from that its always sunny! However, the heat is not too bad as there are regular winds that pass by, just like now! :)

    Reply
  34. #1 Skillet fan -  September 3, 2010 - 6:51 pm

    yah Saf, it’s really similar weather here in Tennessee lol. I consider the start of fall whenever i can go outside and take my dog for a walk without having to complain about the heat and humidity lol

    Reply
  35. j-love -  September 3, 2010 - 3:52 pm

    “Labor Day” is two words.

    Reply
  36. SEVEN COME ELEVEN | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  September 3, 2010 - 3:47 pm

    [...] Eleven after Seven over the Sands of Time — Labor is as Labor does seven days a week — The Equinox is celestial with no other equality to speak. — “ACQUISITION” is the Reason — “ACHIEVEMENT” is the Rhyme. — Regardless of the season. — Born for a life of doing time.–>>Rupert L.T.Rhyme [...]

    Reply
  37. Mr. Raymond Kenneth Petry -  September 3, 2010 - 3:25 pm

    (In high school it came to be celebrated as Long Pants season … after culottes became allowed in Spring.)

    Reply
  38. Jim -  September 3, 2010 - 1:29 pm

    It is a complete fallacy to assert that fall begins at the equinox or that summer begins on the 21st of June (summer solstice), etc. or as some calendars erroneously report those are the “official” beginnings of the seasons. No governmental or scientific body has ever declared this to be. The autumnal equinox is merely the first day of astronomical fall. Just Sept. 1st is the first day of meteorological fall.

    As Cecil Adams writes in “The Straight Dope” (and here he is talking about the summer solstice but it applies to all the seasons:

    There is a widespread misconception in this country–which extends, I might note, to the makers of most calendars, dictionaries, and encyclopedias–that summer “officially” starts on the day of the summer solstice, June 21 or 22, which is the longest day of the year. Americans also believe (1) that there is some valid scientific reason for doing it that way, and (2) that everybody in the Northern Hemisphere does it that way, and always has.

    None of these things is true. So far as I have been able to discover, no scientific or governmental body has ever formally declared that summer starts on the solstice.

    You can read the rest at this link:

    Reply
  39. Mr. Raymond Kenneth Petry -  September 3, 2010 - 12:50 pm

    ‘FINDETE,’ FINDELETE’? (Fin-d’Ete, Fin-de-l’Ete)

    ‘AU-TUMP’? (With-the-Haystack)

    ‘HARVEST’? (old nomenclature)

    ‘FALL’? (opposite of spring)

    The Egyptians call it Planting Season, because the Nile flood season has passed.

    Early Roman-Latin/Etruscan, Autumn, is possibly derived as, Au+T’Amun (With-T’Amun/Ra the sungod settling into his old age).

    In India-Indian, Autumn is the season favored by Saraswati (wife of Brahma) probably because she had a child in old age (cf Sarai/Sarah and Abram/Abraham).

    Ray.

    Reply
  40. FoodChallengedKat -  September 3, 2010 - 12:31 pm

    I live just above you, James, in SC. Spring quickly turned into summer this year around May, when it just went from nice to insanely hot. I know about the “hot shower in a wet wool blanket feeling.” We try to stay cool, but if you keep your thermostat at 78 degrees, then the AC isn’t enough to keep you cool in 115 degree heat indexes. Autumn comes pretty quickly here, as well. This is usually around Halloween. October 30th can be a nice 85 degrees, and then by the evening of October 31st the temps have dropped to a cold 30-40 degrees at night. It’s crazy the weather extremes. People have asked me when it’s going to get warm again, and I tell them to wait until mid-March. Then they ask when it’s going to get cold again, and I tell them to wait until Halloween. Trick or treating isn’t as much fun when you have to wear your woolies on underneath the gauzy costumes, and wear hats, gloves, and coats to keep away the cold.

    Reply
  41. David E. -  September 3, 2010 - 12:13 pm

    You’re not official enough. The start of spring is the vernal equinox, and the start of fall is the autumnal equinox.

    Reply
  42. #1 Skillet fan -  September 3, 2010 - 11:48 am

    The spring and fall equinoxes are actually called the vernal (spring) and autumnal (fall) equinox in case you’re wondering

    Reply
  43. James -  September 3, 2010 - 11:48 am

    You said it, Saf. Very much the same here in South Florida…

    Reply
  44. Suzanne -  September 3, 2010 - 11:45 am

    Summer ends for me when I have to wake up at 5 in the morning everyday. So that usually means school is starting, which i may add is in the middle of august.

    Reply
  45. Saf -  September 3, 2010 - 11:12 am

    I live in Arkansas. Summer is over when I can go outside without feeling like I’m taking a hot shower in a wet wool blanket (which is usually about two days in January, then it goes back to being summer again).

    Reply
    • Rachel -  August 29, 2016 - 10:05 am

      That’s nice Saf I wish it was was the same weather here.☹️
      Do you want to be my friend? I would. Come meet at my house. We can be buddies

      Reply
  46. IzTheWhiz -  August 29, 2016 - 7:42 am

    ikr its so unhelpful

    Reply
  47. Equinox -  August 29, 2016 - 1:08 pm

    Hahaha, really? wow Stella, you really surprise me. Have you paid a bit of attention to the post? Looks pretty obvious…

    Reply

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