The people's voice of reason

Why is November, November? Why do we call November, November?

While most of the months of the year derive their names from some sort of significant or romantic root, three months of the year have no special meaning other than numerical. September gets its name from the Latin word septem, seven, October for the Latin octo, eight, and novem in Latin means nine. That's how the months of the year lined up numerically in times gone by.

Unlike July, which was named for Julius Caesar, or August, which got its name from Augustus, the word November just means that it was the ninth month of the year, back when names of the months were being handed out.

January, on the other hand, gets its name from Janus, the Roman god of doors, signifying the opening of the year. February gets its name from the Latin word februare, for purify--for whatever reason existed at the time. March gets its name from Mars the Roman god of war, and aprilis is the Latin word for opening, as do the flower buds at this time of year. The name May came from the Roman goddess Maia, the mother of Mercury. June gets its name from Juno, the chief Roman goddess.

The month of November does have some special days that are worthy of note; however. Just ask any U.S. Marine, and he will quickly tell you that every year since 1775, on the 10th day of November the United States Marine Corps has celebrated its establishment as a force whose purpose is to defend America; and the Marines, to a man, put their heart into this celebration; as well they should--they have a right to. The United States Marine Corps Birthday is celebrated with a traditional ball and cake-cutting ceremony. We also celebrate the 10th of November as Veterans Day.

The next day of the month also has a military significance since that's the day on which the Commonwealth of Nations, and various European nations, such as France and Belgium, commemorate World War I, and other wars.

World Diabetes Day is celebrated on the 14th, and International Men's Day is celebrated on the 19th. The international focus on this day is on men's and boy's health, on improving gender relations, and celebrating the achievements and contributions of men and boys throughout the world.

Your humble scribe will celebrate National Adoption Day on the 21st--for understandable reasons.

Not to ignore the feminine gender, the 25th is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. As well it should be.

Both the U.S. and Puerto Rico celebrate the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving, although the turkeys aren't too big on the idea.

There are a host of other month-long observances in November, with no less than six ailments on the roster. These include: Pancreatic Cancer, Alzheimer's Disease, Diabetes, Lung Cancer, and Ulceratice Colitis, Stomach Cancer, and Epilepsy, to name a few.

The Great American Smokeout comes on the third Thursday in the month, and the day after Thanksgiving is known in the U.S. as Black Friday.

November’s birthstone is the topaz, and its flower is the chrysanthemum. All of which is probably more than the reader would be interested in; but there it is.

So, enjoy whichever day is yours, and don't eat too much on Thanksgiving!


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