There are often arguments about the dates the seasons end and start. I myself have been involved in more than one of these arguments. And why? Because both location and religion determine the calender you follow. Let me explain.
Majority of those descended from the Celts (the Welsh, the Irish, the Scottish and people in some parts of England) still follow the dates of the old Celtic calender. As do many of those who follow many branches of the Pagan religions. This calender states that the start of the new year begins on Samhain/Halloween/All Hallows Eve. It also states that Winter begins at the start of November, Spring at the start of February, Summer at the start of May, and Autumn/Fall at the start of August in the Northern Hemisphere, with the seasons in the Southern Hemisphere being the opposite (February being Autumn, May being Winter, etc). Thus placing the Equinoxes and Solstices roughly in the centre of each season. These dates are, obviously, not 100% accurate due to the fact that when the calender was more widely used the dates were worked out differently (using the moon's phases). They are just the closest anyone can come from interpretations of the old Celtic calenders when compared to observations of the moon made throughout the year as we know it. If that makes sense.
Also, there was very little mention of Spring and Autumn in the Celtic calender. Autumn was merely the harvest time, and Spring the time of rebirth of animals and nature.
However, everyone else follows other calenders. Not necesarily the same ones as one another. In some of these other calenders the dates of the starts of the seasons change. As does the date that the new year begins. Although, in some of them the dates do remain roughly the same.
The most commonly used of these calenders is the Gregorian calender... The one which gives us the dates we use every day of the week, every week of the year, every year of our lives. The one that states that the first day of the new year is on January 1st. This same calender is also the one that states that the Equinoxes and Solstices mark the start of the season rather than its mid point.
The old calenders base their dates not only on lunar phases, but also on the point in the year when certain things (i.e. harvesting) needed to be done, and are therefore still widely used by farmers as well as Pagans and the descendants of the Celts.
While browsing the internet for Autumn/Fall themed items to post (recipes, interesting articles, etc) I noticed that there are more dates claiming to be the correct date for the start of each season than even "I" realised (and I knew there were "two or three"). The dates for the start of Autumn/Fall, for example, range from August 1st to September 23rd.
So... With so many different dates given for the dates the seasons start and end, how are you to know which season - or which part of a certain season - you are in? How are you supposed to decide whether, for example, Autumn/Fall starts at the start of August, the start of September, or later in the month of September at the date of the Autumn Equinox (September 22nd/23rd)?
Personally, I have always gone by the dates in the Celtic calender, which means that as far as I'm concerned Autumn/Fall is almost at its mid point. I choose to use this calender because it's the one that makes most sense to me. Many people agree that Yule/Christmas happens "in the bleak Mid-Winter" and that June 21st (the Summer Solstice) marks the mid point of Summer. And since I share that belief, it stands to reason that September should be the middle of Autumn and March should be the middle of Spring. Especially when you take in to consideration the fact that many pieces of text state that the year is split up in to four seasons of roughly equal length. And when you take in to account the fact that the Welsh name for the month of July is "Gorffenaf" from the Welsh "Gorffen" meaning "finish" or "end" and the Welsh "haf" meaning "Summer."
But which calender do you use? How do you figure out where in the season we are? Or, for that matter, which season we are in? Or, do you not care? Whatever the case, I'd be interested in your opinions and your reasons for them.