Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.
-‘To Autumn’ by John Keats
The sun is setting on summer and the time of year that Keats called the 'Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness' will soon be upon us, with leaves turning golden, nights drawing in and fires being lit. Here at Berganza we are celebrating all that is autumnal with a jewellery selection inspired by the turning of the leaves, featuring vivid ambers, vibrant reds, golden yellows and the rich russets and browns so synonymous with this season.
The word autumn entered English from the French ‘automne’ but didn't become common usage until the 18th century. Previously they used the term ‘Fall’, a shortening of the phrase ‘fall of the leaf’, a phrase that was commonplace in England in the 17th century. Nowadays we generally think of 'Fall' as the North American version of the word ‘Autumn', but it was in fact in widespread use in England until somewhat recently.
Autumn begins with the autumnal equinox in September and ends with the winter solstice in December, marking the time when day and night are of equal length. Hereafter we will notice the nights begin to draw in. This year, the autumn equinox takes place on the 23rd of September.
People have been celebrating the autumn equinox for centuries. The most traditional celebrations are associated with harvest. In Greek mythology, autumn began when Persephone was abducted by Hades to be the Queen of the Underworld. In anguish Persephone's mother, Demeter, the goddess of the harvest, caused all the crops on Earth to die until her daughter was allowed to return, thus marking the beginning of spring.
The Romans held a festival dedicated to Pomona, goddess of fruits and growing things. Ancient peoples such as the Druids in England and Maya in Central America saw it as a marker of the harvest season. To this day in the UK, followers of the Wicca religion, druids, and pagans gather to watch the sunrise on the day of the equinox at Stonehenge, the famous 5,000-year-old site in Wiltshire and at Castlerigg, the megalithic stone circle near Keswick in Cumbria. In Mexico, crowds flock to the pyramid at Chichen Itza on the Yucatan Peninsula where a serpent-headed statue is placed at the foot of the pyramid and as the sun sets, the sunlight and the shadow show the body of the serpent joining with the head.
Inspired by autumnal hues and hand-cut gem stones? At Berganza we offer an extensive array of one off pieces that are as rare as they are outstandingly beautiful. Our extensive collection is available to view online or in our shop.