Archived Story

How September got its name

Published 12:39pm Thursday, September 15, 2011

I had someone stop me and ask, “Do you know where the name for the month “September” came from?” I blinked and said, “Don’t have the faintest idea.” Of course, my curiosity got the better of me and I had to find out.

September comes from the old Roman word “Septem” meaning seven, because it was the seventh month in the Roman calendar. Anglo-Saxons actually called it Barley Month, because, obviously, that was when they harvested barley and made their favorite drink, barley brew. In Switzerland, it is called Harvest Month.

Here’s an interesting fact, absolutely nothing happened in English history between September 3 and September 13, 1752. Why? Well, because it never really existed. Up until 1752 the British used the Julian calendar, but this calendar had some issues and eventually began to fall out of sequence with the seasons. Therefore British government decided to switch to the Georgian Calendar, so the British went to bed on September 3, 1752 and woke up to September 14, 1752.

Other facts about September: birthstone – sapphire, flowers – aster, forget-me-nots and morning glories, astrological sign(s) – Virgo until Sept. 22 and starting Sept. 23 is Libra, fruits- Figs and nectarines.

As for special days in September, in addition to the first Monday being Labor and Sept.11 being Patriot Day, there is also Sept. 21 which is International Day of Peace. Sept. 23 marks the official beginning of autumn.

September is also a very busy month for observations. There is National Cholesterol Education Month, National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, National Honey Month, National School Success Month, Whole Grains Month, Prostrate Cancer Awareness Month, Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness Month, and National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.

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