During the month of November, thoughts turn toward the beginning of winter and the holiday season. It is the month
that is named for the ninth (Novem) month in the early Roman calendar that was, and still is, a social time of community
suppers, feasts of thanksgiving, and general elections. Here are some other interesting facts about the month of November:
  • November’s full moon is traditionally called the Beaver Moon because in the Colonial Era, this was the month to set one’s beaver traps to ensure a supply of warm winter furs before the swamps froze and beavers retired to their lodges.
  • Topaz is the birthstone for November as the ancient Greeks believed that topaz could make a wearer invisible. A symbol of honor and strength, topaz was also believed to bring longevity and wisdom. The stone also symbolizes love and affection and is believed to give the wearer increased intellect and strength.
  • The chrysanthemum is November’s birth flower. Did you know that a red chrysanthemum means “I love you”? A white one means innocence, purity, and pure love, while the yellow chrysanthemum means slighted love. Japan holds the Festival of Happiness each year to celebrate this flower.
  • All Saints’ Day, celebrated on November 1, is a day when all saints and loved ones are honored.
  • The first Tuesday after the first Monday in November was designated Election Day for future presidential elections because, in 1845 when the date was first decided, we were more of an agricultural society. November was a good time for elections because the busy harvest season was coming to an end, which allowed more country people to travel to cities to vote.
  • Daylight saving time is the practice of moving the clocks forward one hour from standard time in the summer months and changing them back again (or turning the clocks back one hour) in the fall. This year, November 7 is when daylight saving time ends, so before going to bed on November 6, turn your clock back one hour. This will give us more daylight in the winter mornings, but nightfall will begin sooner.
  • Veteran’s Day, originally called Armistice Day, is on November 11 and is a day to thank and honor all who have served, living or deceased.
  • This year, Hanukkah begins at sundown on November 28.
  • Thanksgiving was proclaimed a holiday not only in celebration of the harvest but in honor of the creation of the new United States Constitution! As early as 1789, President George Washington issued a proclamation designating November 26 as a “Day of Publick Thanksgivin” to recognize the role of providence in creating the new United States and our constitution. In 1941, Congress established Thanksgiving as a federal holiday to be celebrated nationally on the fourth Thursday in November.
  • A bountiful meal featuring a turkey has become the traditional Thanksgiving fare, with over 90% of Americans eating the bird on this holiday. But, in the 1830s, turkey was a rare treat. An 8 to 10-pound bird costs a day’s wages!

Wishing you a bountiful Thanksgiving feast that is filling and full of grace this year.

By Diana Blidy

Information provided by Patsy Zima