Hello Holidays! – September

Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa. I totally got sucked into fall decorating and the start of the NFL season and completely forgot that this was the weekend for the holiday blog. Sorry! On to the holidays…

First Monday of the month – Labor Day. For those of use who work office jobs, it’s a three day weekend heralding the last chance to enjoy summer. It’s original intention was to celebrate those who labored to make the country grow and the labor and trade organizations who kept things running. First held in 1882, it didn’t become a Federal holiday until 1894. Why September? Apparently, to break up the long gap between Independence Day in July and Thanksgiving in November.

First Sunday after Labor Day – Grandparents Day. Conflicting accounts abound for who actually started the rally to recognize a day for grandparents. Michael Goldgar, Marian McQuade, and Sen. Jennings Randolph are all given credit. What is known is President Jimmy Carter signed a federal proclamation  in 1978 and the first Grandparents Day was celebrated Sept. 9, 1979. It was meant to honor the people who tie us to our past and affect our future by providing a tangible link to our traditions.

September 11 – Patriot Day. Observance. Honoring the memory of those who died and were injuring during the attacks  of September 2001. Observed with a moment of silence at 8:46 am Eastern Time and by flying the flags at half-staff. As of yet, this is not a Federal holiday.

September 17 – Rosh Hashana. Jewish New Year. Celebrated for two days by some and only one by others. A time of judgement and remembrance. A time to reflect on the deeds of the previous year. All debts from the past year should be settle before Rosh Hashana. A shofar (ram’s horn) is blown in the synagogue, possibly as a call to remember. The shofar is not blown if the holiday occurs during Shabbat.

September 17 – Constitution and Citizenship Day in the U.S. Observance. Commemorates signing of the Constitution in 1787 by the delegates of the Constitutional Convention . Held during Constitution week (Sept. 17th-23rd). The day was first promoted by William Randolph Hearst in 1939 to celebrate US citizenship.

September 22 – Autumnal Equinox. Mabon. Beginning of Fall. The length of night and day are exactly the same; 12 hours. Also one of the major Pagan/Wiccan holidays. Time is taken to honor the bounty of the harvest, or the gifts of the Earth. Time of reflection and preparing for the “death” of the soil and Earth as winter takes over and the plants and trees start dying or hibernating in preparation of the cold weather.  An interesting myth associated with the equinox. Greek goddess Demeter, the goddess of the harvest went into deep grief when Hades, god of the underworld, kidnapped her daughter Persephone. Persephone consumed six pomegranate seeds (a sign of the goddess’ fertility) while in the underworld. It was deemed that six months of the year, Persephone must stay in the underworld, and therefore the earth would be dying and dead during that time.

September 26 – Yom Kippur. Day of Atonement. The last day to make amends for any misdeeds throughout the year before they are sealed in the books by G-d. (following Jewish writing of the name). These are only sins against G-d and not against another person. It is a Sabbath day. No work can be performed and members are also supposed to fast over the duration (25 hours) and refrain from sexual relations. Also, observers sometimes wear white for purity and absence of sin.

Last Sunday of the month – Gold Star Mother’s Day. Observance. Approved by Presidential Proclamation in 1936, this day is to honor those sons and daughters lost during military service. Service Flags banners are hung in the homes, with living service members honor by a blue star and deceased service members honored with a gold star. I remember seeing something about this last year but haven’t seen anyone observing it.

There’s September. A busy month. Are there any other holidays or observances you can think of? Leave them in the comments!

Have a great month and I hope some of you are starting to get some nice cool, fall weather.

Melanie

 

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