Our ancestors observed nature for millennia and this experience and knowledge in turn shaped their beliefs, customs, and the pace of life. Autumn equinox marked the point by which all harvest had to be securely stored in pantries and granaries. Fall was and still is a time of markets, fairs, and saint feast day celebrations.
With longer nights and shorter days, people withdrew from the outside into their homes, barns, and stables. This was an opportunity for men to inspect home and work equipment to mend whatever needed to be mended, purchase new, sharpen, tighten, and polish so that it would be ready for spring. This was the task of men. Women used the long evenings to process goose feathers for pillows and quilts. They also sewed, mended clothes, made new ones, or created little something that could be sold at markets to earn a little extra income. Life slowed down to allow our ancestors to conserve energy and rest. That is also why traditions and customs of this season as not as numerous and elaborate as during the rest of the year. Fall was a downtime.