It's Fall Ya'll: The meanings behind fall and gifts for those who love it
“And all at once, summer collapsed into fall.” Oscar Wilde
It’s time to leave summer behind. The leaves are changing, there’s a crispness in the air and pumpkins are everywhere. And when it's time to give during the fall season Havamal Gifting is here to help. We all have someone in our life who is a little too excited for the season, the one who invited you apple picking in July. Or the one with a weakness for all things pumpkin.
Read on to learn more about the history and meaning of the autumn season and gifts for everyone who loves the season.
Historical records show fall was used to describe the third season of the year as early as the 1500s. Originating from the notion of the falling of the leaves during this time of year. About the end of the 1600s, fall was replaced by autumn. Today, we use the terms interchangeably. Also, the season was previously referred to as Harvest season because farmers' crops were ready for harvesting. For this reason the season is also associated with abundance, prosperity and wealth.
Symbolically fall is a powerful season for reflection. A reminder of impermanence and change, the fall represents a time for environmental and personal transformations. Fall is the end of many things but it can also represent a new beginning. A season drenched in tradition, fall is the perfect time to reflect and embrace change. We leave behind the carefree feeling of summer and take stock of our lives.
Ancient cultures have always associated the autumnal equinox with the concept of balance. On the day of, both day and night last for 12 hours, reminding us to find balance. Druids called the autumnal Equinox Mean Fomhair, and celebrated by offering libations to trees. During this time the Druids focus on balance because it is the only time that it can be observed in nature.
In Ancient Greek mythology, the onset of fall is closely linked to the story of Persephone, a goddess who was abducted from her mother, harvest goddess Demeter, and taken to the underworld to become the wife of Hades, the god-king of the underworld. Demeter eventually got her daughter back from Hades, but only for nine months of the year. Every fall, Persephone would return to the underworld to spend three months with Hades. During these months, Demeter refused to use her divine skills to make plants grow, explaining why we have three months of winter every year.
The Mayans constructed the ancient temple Pyramid of Kukulcán in Chichen Itza using advanced astronomical calculations to determine the exact angle of the staircase. The pyramid is designed so that on the equinoxes, sunlight and shadow create the illusion of a serpent’s body snaking down to connect with the head at the bottom. You can check out a video here.
Buddhist teacher Sharon Saltzberg, writes in her book Lovingkindness about Fall and Generosity: "Generosity has such power because it is characterized by the inner quality of letting go or relinquishing. Being able to let go, to give up, to renounce, to give generously — these capacities spring from the same source within us. When we practice generosity, we open to all of these liberating qualities simultaneously. They carry us to a profound knowing of freedom, and they also are the loving expression of that same state of freedom." Fall, then, is the perfect season to give generously of your time and talents to others.
If you’re looking to give a gift that says fall, check out our round-up of recommendations below.
Fall is all about getting cozy and while we may rarely leave the house anymore, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be stylish and comfortable. Matching two-piece lounge wear is perfect for all-day everyday, whether inside or running around town.
If matching isn’t their thing, comfort is still key. We love these sweatshirts and lounge pants for a lazy Sunday...or Monday.
If your friend sent you an invitation to go apple picking in July, they will definitely appreciate this sturdy apple peeler. If you’re lucky you might just get an apple pie in return!
For those with a literary love, you can’t go wrong with the book The Heart of Autumn: Poems for the Season of Reflection. Compiled by Robert Atwan and Rosanna Warren it features a selection of poems about the fall season from the world’s most acclaimed poets.
What’s better than curling up in a comfortable blanket on a crisp fall day? I don’t know a human who doesn’t love this, which makes blankets and throws a can’t miss gift for everyone, especially lovers of autumn.
We love these Autumn Stone Hoop Earrings because they match almost everything and are incredibly eye catching.
For the crafty fall fan, we recommend the Hello Gourdgeous Counted Cross Stitch DIY Kit. Not only a fun activity, they’ll have some original handmade fall decor to display all year round.
In addition to the huge selection of scarves in our shop, one of our favorite Etsy shops Seams Sew Innate makes a Scarf with a zipper pocket. Perfect for when you don’t want to carry a purse.