The month of September was named for the Latin word “septem,” which means seven. It was the seventh month of the year, until 153 B.C. when January took over as the first month of the year — bumping March out of the lead spot.
Everyone looks forward to the Labor Day holiday this month — it’s the last long weekend before autumn begins on September 23.
Labor Day is more than just a good time to squeeze in a final warm weather vacation — it’s a tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country.
More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, the United States Department of Labor is still unclear as to who first proposed the holiday for workers, narrowing it down to either Peter J. McGuire or Matthew Maguire.
The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union.
September has officially been declared International Square Dancing Month, National Courtesy Month and National Piano Month. It’s also home to Hispanic Heritage Month, Baby Safety Month, Little League Month and Self Improvement Month.
To help you plan your activities, The Farmer’s Almanac suggests saving pear and apple picking for the 14, 15, 23 and 24 this month. The best days to host a party are the 9-12 and 27-28; to get a haircut that lasts, cut hair on the 23 or 24 — but cutting hair on the 29-30 will only cause it to grow longer; Sept. 20-22 are “fine days for planting fall potatoes, turnips, carrots, onions, beets and other root crops.”
Gather up poles and tackle on Sept. 9-13 and 20-22, for the Almanac promises that on the best fishing days this month, “you will catch something almost every time you cast your line into the water.”
September’s birth flower is the Aster, which is considered the “other” classic autumn flower besides the chrysanthemum. In ancient times, it was believed that burning Aster leaves would drive away evil snakes.
Today, Asters are known as a talisman of love and a symbol of patience — quite appropriate considering that they are also the 20th anniversary flower.
The birth stone of those born in this month is the blue sapphire.
Some say ancient civilizations thought the world was set in a giant sapphire, and others claim the ten commandments were chiseled into slabs of the stone.
In times past, sapphires were thought to protect against envy and poisoning. Ground sapphire was believed to cure colic, rheumatism and mental illness, as well as strengthen eyesight.
Sapphires have been favored by priests and royalty. In fact, the 18-carat oval sapphire on Kate Middleton’s finger was the one worn by Princess Diana.
Those born in the month of September belong to astrological signs Virgo (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22) or Libra (Sept. 23 - Oct. 22).
Virgos are sometimes thought to be fussy and narrow-minded but, when those born to this sign are confident within themselves, they are said to be the most successful, structured and creative of all the signs. Many Virgos can be found working in service to others — social services, medicine and teaching seem to be industries that beckon those “born to help others.” Virgos are rarely cynical, no matter how many times they are hurt. Kindhearted, they can sometimes be taken advantage of and often fall victim to bad relationships. Creative and sensitive, Virgos are delicate. Usually willing to stay out of the limelight and focus on making loved ones happy, Virgos are givers and are known for “being there when the chips are down.”
Libras yearn for an uncomplicated life, and dream of finding their one true love. Whether or not the ideal mate is found can make a huge impact on the life of a Libra. If a perfect partner doesn’t pan out, Librans tend to pour their energy into their work. Many become very successful in business, while only pretending that their romantic life is satisfactory. Their charm can win jobs and provides powerful friends. But in both work and play, looking for peace and harmony, Librans often say “yes” when they should be saying “no.” For the Librans who do find their princess or prince charming, life is fantastic. What those born under this sign should remember is that sometimes it’s better to be alone than to settle for less than what you want.
— Staff Writer Kelli Easterling can be reached at (910) 997-3111 ext. 18, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.