Now that we are looking in the rear view mirror at the summer of ‘21, we can finally set our sights on the pleasures of early fall. In addition to the renewed energy brought on by sweater weather and the thrill of fall foliage and cool weather comfort foods, October culminates with Halloween, an occasion for costumes, candy and scary stories.
Have you ever wondered why October isn’t the eighth month of the year given it’s “octo” prefix? Back in 750 BCE, September and October, named after the numbers seven and eight, were the seventh and eighth months in the ancient Roman calendar, created by Romulus.
Hispanic Heritage Month, which is observed from September 15 to October 15, is an annual tribute to the history, cultural contributions and continuing vibrant presence of Hispanic-Americans, those whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. Formerly known as Hispanic Heritage Week, the celebration was initiated under President Lyndon Johnson in 1968 and expanded to a 30-day event by President Reagan in 1988.
The Booker Prize, one of the most prestigious literary awards in the English speaking world, has brought recognition and vastly expanded readership to novelists for over fifty years. The Prize is open to works by writers of any nationality, written in English and published either in the United Kingdom or Ireland.
Baseball is back! Unlike last summer, fans of the national pastime once again fill the stands while scarfing down hot dogs and cheering themselves hoarse. Have you wondered why baseball is referred to as the national pastime? It comes in a distant third to football and basketball in television ratings, yet, ratings aside, the game remains the national pastime because it resonates more deeply in America’s heart than any other sport, inciting fierce passions and loyalties that span generations.
August can be a challenge. If you love summer, you dread losing those lingering hours of sunlight and relaxed routines. Fans of fall, however, find the 31 day month an endless slog and long for the renewed surge of energy inspired by cooler temps and riotous colors. August is also an interesting month historically. The month was named after Augustus Caesar, first emperor of the Roman Empire and grand-nephew of Julius Caesar.
Welcome to the Dog Days, the time of year synonymous with the “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.” The name conjures images of dappled dogs dozing in the sun but have you ever wondered where the term originated and what it actually means? The “Dog Days,” which officially begin on July 3 and end on August 11, coincide with Sirius, the Dog Star, rising and setting with the sun. Known as the Dog Star because it is part of the constellation Canis Major, Latin for “Greater Dog,” Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky.
Did you know that the seventh month of the year is notable for celebrations of freedom and independence? July 1 is Canada Day, which celebrates the creation of the Dominion of Canada; July 4 is American Independence Day, commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress and announcing the colonies' separation from Great Britain; and July 14 is Bastille Day, the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille and the start of the French Revolution.