In Latin ‘septem’ means seventh. September was the 7th month of the Roman calendar. The Anglo-Saxons called it Gerst monath (Barley month) – because it was the month barley (aka John Barleycorn) was harvested for cereal and for beer and whisky. (Traditionally on the 24th)
September sees the Autumn equinox on the 23rd, when the day and night is the same length – which signals the end of summer. We celebrate Michaelmas Day (the feast of St Michael) on 29th, traditionally the last day of the harvest.
In 1752, the British Empire adopted the Gregorian calendar. To make the adjustment, across the Empire that year, September 2 was immediately followed by September 14. Therefore Britain has absolutely no history for these 11 days!
World War II started on September 1, 1939 and ended on September 2, 1945 with Japan’s formal surrender.
Michaelmas Day is also known as Goose Day – Nottingham still has it’s Goose Fair. Geese are supposed to be very tasty at this time of year.
“September” was a hit single by Earth, Wind and Fire in 1978 reaching number 3 in the charts. Remember that?
The title track of 1970 Traffic’s LP ‘John Barleycorn Must Die’ told that…
‘The huntsman, he can’t hunt the fox
Nor so loudly to blow his horn
And the tinker he can’t mend kettle nor pot
Without a little Barleycorn’
August begins with the sun in the sign of Leo and ends in the sign of Virgo. It was originally named Sextilis (it was the sixth month in the Roman calendar) and was renamed in honour of Augustus in 8 BC because several of the most significant events in his rise to power, culminating in the fall of Alexandria, fell in this month.
August’s flower is the poppy, and its birthstone is the sapphire.
In August 1947, the British colonies Pakistan and India gained independence. Unfortunately, in October 1947 they went to war over control of Kashmir.
August is a time for fun – with the Edinburgh Festival, Eisteddfod and Notting Hill Carnival.
August is not such a fun month if you are a Red Grouse – the Glorious Twelfth is the start of the shooting season.
August Mobius studied one sided surfaces and in 1858 discovered the Mobius Strip – a loop with only one side…
is National Hot Dog Month & Anti-Boredom Month!
It begins on the same day of the week as April every year.
Its flower is the water lily. Its birthstone is the ruby.
July begins with the sun in the sign of Cancer and ends in the sign of Leo.
It’s named after Julius Caesar, who was born in that month.
The US celebrates the Declaration of independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain, signed on July 4th 1776.
Final day at Wimbledon is always the first Sunday in July.
July sees the Henley Regatta and the census of swans on the River Thames known as ‘Swan Upping’.
St Swithin’s Day, on the 15th, has the legend that the weather for the next 40 days will be same…
‘St Swithin’s Day, if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St Swithin’s Day, if thou be fair
For forty days ‘twill rain nae mair.’’
Another July saying also predicts the weather…
‘If the first of July it be rainy weather,
It will rain more or less for four weeks together.’
Whatever the weather, July officially our hottest month!