American Holidays & Seasons
US Culture
Reservations

Autumn in the US

Autumn begins on Labor Day weekend

The autumn season, also known as fall, traditionally begins with the Labor Day Holiday at the beginning of September and extends through the Thanksgiving Day holiday near the end of November.

Labor Day signifies the end of summer and the end of the three-month school holidays for most children. Swimming pools in the northern states close right after the Labor Day weekend and most summer sports activities end. This holiday is always celebrated on a Monday and workers have a 3-day weekend. It is often used for one last mini-vacation for the family before school begins. Picnics and outdoor barbecues are a favorite activity.

Autumn © Corel
Poplar trees explode with fall colors along a road in the state of Utah.

Autumn is a pleasant time to visit the US

The autumn season can be quite pleasant in most of the US. In the northern states, it usually brings warm sunny days with cool nights. The leaves of the hardwood forests begin to change color and produce a magnificent display for a few short weeks. In the South, it means an end to the oppressive heat of mid-summer and the onset of more pleasant temperatures. Along the south Atlantic coast and around the Gulf of Mexico it can bring some dangerous storms known as Hurricanes.

Baseball season nears its end and the professional baseball teams begin their playoffs in preparation for the World Series. Football (American football) season begins. Every weekend, high school and college teams across the USA engage in local matches. On Sunday afternoons, television sets across the land are tuned to the professional games of the National Football League.

Halloween © Corel
During Halloween, front yards of many houses are decorated with witches, ghosts, skeletons and giant illuminated pumpkin faces called "jack-o-lanterns".

Halloween is a favorite holiday of children

Halloween is always celebrated on October 31. Children throughout the country dress in costumes and visit all the houses in their neighborhood to receive candy treats. The front yards of many houses are decorated with witches, ghosts, skeletons and giant illuminated pumpkin faces called "jack-o-lanterns". On the days just before Halloween, each town and village holds a parade with many children and sometimes a few adults marching through the streets in costumes. Prizes are given to the best dressed. The most famous parades are held in San Francisco and New York City where the gay residents parade in unbelievably extravagant costumes. October 30 is known as Devil's night, and people that have been unkind to children in their neighborhood may find their shrubbery decorated with toilet paper or their windows covered in soap.

Thanksgiving is the day for family feasting

The fall season ends with the Thanksgiving holiday weekend following the third Thursday in November. This harvest festival is a time when families re-unite for a great feast. Roast turkey with cranberry sauce, candied yams, and pumpkin pie are the traditional dishes served on Thanksgiving. The Saturday following Thanksgiving is always the traditional first day of the new Christmas-shopping season. Macy's department store hosts a huge parade in New York City and stores across the country offer their first big sales of the new season. This is always one of the biggest shopping days of the year as the winter season begins.

Written by: Mike Leco
Top Photo Credit: © Eric Gevaert
Photo Description: Over head and under foot, the rich and magical colors of autumn signal the end of summer and the approach of winter.