We have already reached that point in the calendar in which there is more darkness than daylight.
It was the equinox yesterday, the day when there is an equal amount of day and night – 12 hours of both.
It will gradually get darker and darker now until the shortest day of the year late December.
I find the short days gloomy, even at times traumatic. But there is a lot of atmosphere to compensate for the darkness.
In a few weeks it will be Halloween and then a few weeks after that Christmas, after which the days will slowly begin to lengthen.
Last night the dark season got off to the best possible start in Belfast, on Culture Night. The air was still and mild and autumnal, with leaves on pavements that were crowded with people enjoying the city in a way that would have been unthinkable not long ago.
This annual event, of 300 free events in multiple locations in Belfast, has become one of the city’s highlights, attracting thousands of people.
• Ben Lowry (@BenLowry2) is News Letter deputy editor