Temperatures in Hong Kong may still be hovering around 30 degrees Celsius, but as we enter the second week of October, its time to officially welcome the arrival of autumn. That means only drinking pumpkin spice lattes, wearing shades of red, brown, and orange, and snuggling under knitted blankets (okay, this last one might be uncomfortable … unless you’re in a freezing, AC-blasted mall or cinema).
If you’re still not convinced that autumn has begun, check out these super-seasonal books, films, poems, art, and songs, as chosen by us. You’ll be reaching for the pumpkin spice in no time!
At school, we used to sing a hymn called Autumn Days, which is all about the things we see in autumn, like clouds that take on the shapes of familiar faces, and the dew on the grass in the chilly English mornings. This is a very autumnal song for me, because it reminds me of putting on my school uniform, bundling up in a big, puffy coat, and meeting up with my friends on the playground after the long summer months.
Ginny Wong, Sub-editor
Autumn is best represented by the painting Peasants in Autumn by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai. There are a lot of workers rushing to harvest the wheat in the dying hours of the day. Though the colours are muted, there is still a sense of urgency created by the setting sun in the background. It seems like a metaphor for life itself: in the last hours of useful light before darkness descends, you have to hustle to get all your work done.
Jamie Lam, Special projects editor
Green Day’s Wake Me Up When September Ends always reminds me of autumn. As a diehard Green Day fan, I often play this song on repeat when October rolls around. It’s about being caught between the inability to move on from the past, and the reality of knowing that nothing can last forever. It often makes me feel a bit sad, and prompts me to reflect on what I’ve done throughout the year as we enter the last few months.
Joanne Ma, Reporter
Robert Frost’s Nothing Gold Can Stay perfectly captures the changing of seasons and transience of life; all things fade in time, and that is what makes them beautiful. The lines “So dawn goes down to day/Nothing gold can stay” remind us to take a moment to pause and appreciate the precious things and people in life before they are gone.
Doris Wai, Multimedia producer
Autumn is a season when leaves turn red and begin to fall. To me, it is also a symbol of growing old – in the “autumn” of our lives, our memories begin to fade and we may start to forget what it was like to feel young and full of life. All of this is perfectly captured in the music video for Regina Spektor’s Eet. In it, the singer tries to hit the backspace, or “Eet” button of a typewriter, in the hope that it will take her back in time, as she sings: “It’s like forgetting the words to your favourite song/You can’t believe it/You were always singing along/It was so easy and the words so sweet/You can’t remember/You try to feel the beat”.
Nicola Chan, Reporter
All Taylor Swift fans agree that the singer basically invented autumn when she released her 2012 album Red. The record is autumn leaves, maple lattes, and knitted scarves in sonic form. It’s also a heartbreak record, which makes it perfect to listen to while taking long solitary walks on rainy afternoons. If you love the whole cosy, coppery, tartan-y autumn aesthetic, you need this album in your life.
Charlotte Ames-Ettridge, Sub-editor
The film Back to the Future is set in October, which by default makes it an autumn movie. But what truly makes it autumnal is the fact that it begins with Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) screaming “I’m late for school!” and dashing off, in one of the best movie openings of all time. That line probably summed up my school life.
Wong Tsui-Kai, Web reporter
I never need an excuse to reread Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice, but the fact that it opens in late September (Mr Bingley comes to the village “before Michaelmas”, which is September 29) makes it particularly suitable to read at this time of year.
Besides, there’s a sort of back-to-school feeling about reading classic literature, but in a good way when it’s a book you love.
Karly Cox, Deputy editor