I know, I know. Technically I’m late with this post. But technically, it’s still November. I was so deep into edits and submission, that I lost track of time. I know, no excuse, but there it is. Now, on to the holidays!
November 1st – All Saints Day – Celebrating the Saints of the Christian churches. Apparently, this holiday and All Saints Day used to be celebrated at the beginning of May. Religious leaders moved the observance to the first of November in an attempt to downplay the Pagan Holiday Samhain (Halloween) in the hopes that it would eventually disappear.
November 2nd – Dia de los Muertos/All Souls Day – First Dia de los Muertos. A two day celebration of those who passed away. It’s not meant to be a time of mourning, but a time to celebrate the lives of those deceased loved ones. Mainly celebrated by those of Mexican heritage. All Souls Day is a day of prayer for the deceased.
November 11 – Veteran’s Day – Observed on the day, or the nearest weekday if it falls on a weekend. A day celebrating all the people who have served time in our country’s military. First officially celebrated in 1921 as Armistice Day, November 11 was chosen because fighting in World War I stopped on November 11 at 11:11 in 1918. In our little town, someone organized a parade for the soldiers of the Vietnam War who never got this recognition when they came home.
Fourth Thursday of the Month – Thanksgiving – An official holiday first set in November by President Abraham Lincoln in an attempt to unite the Civil War torn country, it wasn’t until 1941 that it became a national holiday. A combination of the Native American/English tradition of celebrating a successful harvest and the Puritan practice of prayerful thanks and reflection.
Black Friday – Day after Thanksgiving – Not an “official” holiday by any means, this day is slowing taking over the Thanksgiving holiday. Yes, I have shopped on this day, but even I am starting to tire of the constant pushing of Christmas into Thanksgiving. And the sales really aren’t as good as they used to be. I see myself sleeping in on Black Fridays to come.
What did your family do to celebrate these holidays? For my international readers, which holidays that Americans celebrate just completely confound you?