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Month of November

November means "ninth month". Yet it is the eleventh month in the modern calendar. This anomaly has existed for over 2000 years. In the old Roman calendar (which was only ten months long) November was indeed the ninth month. But this changed when two months were added on to the year, and subsequently, in 153 B.C. the Roman Senate moved New Year's Day to January 1st. Curiously, the names of the numbered months were not changed to account for their new positions. November replaced Blotmonaš in the Old English Calendar. For them this was the "blood month" when animals were sacrificed and slaughtered for preservation through the winter.

November Calendar

November began with 30 days, but Numa Pompilius, the second King of Rome, took a day away in about 700 B.C. Julius Caesar added the day back when he reformed the calendar in 46 B.C. July and August had been named for the first two Roman Emperors, Julius and Augustus. The Roman Senate offered to change the name of November to "Tiberius". He wisely refused saying, "What will you do if you have thirteen emperors?"

The premier holiday of November is Thanksgiving. It is held on the 4th Thursday in November. The first Thanksgiving was given by the pilgrims in 1623. It did not become an official holiday until President Lincoln declared it in 1863. The holiday was created to give thanks for the plenty of the harvest. Today it is celebrated by family gatherings. A traditional dish for the event is roast turkey and dressing.

Veteran's Day is November 11. It was originally called Armistice Day and meant to commemorate the end of the "war to end all wars" (World War I ended 11 November 1918). It was signed into law by Woodrow Wilson in 1919. The remembrance was extended in 1954 to cover the veterans of all wars after World War II and the Korean War.

Sadie Hawkins Day is the first Saturday in November. It was actually invented by a cartoonist, Al Capp, who created the L'il Abner strip. It is a day when girls and women can ask their favorite boy or man to a dance.

On the religious side, the 1st of November is All Saints day.

In November in the Northern Hemisphere the cycle of the seasons becomes most obvious as the harvest is complete and the plants are in their winter mode. It is seen in literature either as a fun time of approaching holidays or as a precursor to the final denouement of December.

The birthstone for November is the topaz.

Next Page: Month of December


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