Aster is the traditional flower of September

September 2018 Cultural Diversity Review

Cultural Diversity

An interesting event takes place each year on September 15th. This day marks the independence of the entire Central America from Spanish rule in 1821, this led to five seperate holidays in the countries that formed part of Central America. This event also marks the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, which is observed in the USA. Other key holidays in September are Labor Day, Mid Autumn Festival and Autumnal Equinox Day.

September in the Northern hemisphere marks the start of autumn and many holidays in this month began as harvest festivals to give thanks for bountiful crops that would be needed to sustain people through the coming cold winter months.

Month info: September used to be the seventh month of the year and in Latin, septem means ‘seven’. Until Julius Caesar’s calendar reform of 45BC, September had only 29 days. The Anglo-Saxons called September Gerst Monath (Barley Month) or Haefest Monath (Harvest Month) celebrating the barley harvest.

Featured Holiday in September

September 3: Labor Day

For most people, Labor Day means two things: a day off and a chance to say goodbye to the summer. But why is it called Labor Day? Labor Day is a day set aside to pay tribute to working men and women. It has been celebrated as a national holiday in the United States and Canada since 1894.

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union.

In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

Facts about Labor Day

  • Oregon was the first state to make Labor Day a legal holiday in 1887
  • President Grover Cleveland and the U.S. Congress made Labor Day a national holiday in 1894
  • A fashion tradition is never to wear white after Labor day. White clothing is usually worn in the summer to keep cool and Labor Day marks the end of summer.
  • In U.S. sports, Labor Day marks the beginning of the NFL and college football seasons
  • Labor Day has become an important weekend for retail sales, said to be second only to Black Friday in sales. Ironically this means more than 24 percent of all workers in the U.S. (retail workers) may work harder and longer on Labor Day
  • New York has the highest union membership rate at 24.7 percent; South Carolina has the lowest rate at 2.1 percent
  • About 75 percent of Americans say they plan to keep working after age 65
  • The United States has no statutory minimum paid vacation or paid public holidays. The decision is left with employers to offer any such benefits.

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Notable Holidays in September

September 13: Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesha Chaturthi, also known as ‘Vinayak Chaturthi’ or ‘Vinayaka Chavithi’ is the day when all Hindus celebrate one of the most popular deities, Lord Ganesh.

The festival is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada, starting on the shukla chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moon). This means the date will normally fall between 19 August and 20 September

This remains one of the most widely celebrated festivals in the Country, partly because Ganesh is one of the most popular deities for worship. His blessings are often invoked at religious ceremonies as he is the one who can remove all obstacles to success, particularly when people are starting a new business or enterprise. Ganesh is known as the giver of fortune and one who can help to avoid natural calamities. Ganesh is also the patron god of travelling.

Ganesh is depicted with an elephant’s head on a human body and in the Hindu tradition he is the son of Lord Shiva and the Goddess Parvati.

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September 24: Mid-autumn Festival

The Mid Autumn festival starts on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month. This festival originated in a fairy tale. A hero names Hou Yi saved his people by shooting down the other nine suns that burned his people to death. He was then bestowed with the elixir of immortality by the Queen Mother of the West.

He did not want to consume the elixir and leave his beautiful but very mortal wife, Chang Er, so he gave the elixir to his wife for safekeeping. Unfortunately, Hou Yi’s disloyal apprentice forced Chang Er to swallow the elixir. She then became a supernatural being. She flew to the moon, and from there watched her husband.

Knowing that his wife had now been separated from him, Hou Yi was crazed with grief. Looking up at the moon one night, he saw a figure like his wife. He hurriedly took cakes and succade (preserves in sugar, whether fruits, vegetables, or confections) as offerings to his wife. Upon hearing this, people developed the custom of watching the moon and eating moon cakes annually on this day.

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September 16: Mexican Independence Day

This public holiday is the national day of Mexico and is celebrated on 16 September.

Also known as ‘DĂ­a de la Independencia’ or ‘Grito de Dolores’, it marks the anniversary of the Mexican War of Independence against Spain on 16 September 1810.

Specifically, it commemorates a proclamation by Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla on 16 September 1810, in the village of Dolores, near Guanajuato.

Hidalgo’s proclamation called for an end to Spanish rule in Mexico, encouraging rebellion and insurrection against the Spanish.

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September 11: Islamic New Year

Awal Muharram or Hijri New Year is celebrated by Muslims as the day symbolises two important events in the Islamic year.

Awal means beginning in English and Muharram is the name of the first month in the Muslim calendar. The first day of Muharram is therefore the Islamic New Year’s Day and on this date the Hijra, the historic journey from Mecca to Medina began.

Islam has a calendar based on the revolutions of the Moon rather than the sun. Thus, it is only 354 days long. Islamic New Year is celebrated on the first day of Muharram, the first Islamic month.

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National Days in September

26 countries have their national days in September. How many people in the company do you know from each country? Remember to wish them a happy national day!

Sep 01 SlovakiaDay of the Constitution of the Slovak Republic: The constitution was proclaimed on 1 September 1992
Sep 01 UzbekistanIndependence Day: Became the independent Republic of Uzbekistan on 1 September 1991
Sep 02 VietnamNational Day: Declaration of independence from France and China in 1945
Sep 03 San MarinoRepublic Day: Independence from the Roman Empire in year 301 (traditional date)
Sep 06 SwazilandSomhlolo Day: Independence from United Kingdom in 1968
Sep 07 BrazilDia da IndependĂȘncia: Declared Independence from Portugal on this date in 1822
Sep 08 AndorraOur Lady of Meritxell Day: Patron saint of Andorra
Sep 08 MacedoniaIndependence Day: Den na nezavisnosta. Declaration of independence from Yugoslavia 1991
Sep 09 North KoreaNational Day: Declaration of a democratic people’s republic in 1948
Sep 09 TajikistanIndependence Day: Independence from the Soviet Union in 1991
Sep 10 BelizeSt. George’s Caye Day: The Battle of St. George’s Caye on 10 September 1798 ended Spanish interest in the region
Sep 10 GibraltarGibraltar National Day: Gibraltar voted to remain under British sovereignty in a referendum of 1967
Sep 15 Costa RicaIndependence Day: Commemorates independence of the entire Central America from Spanish rule in 1821
Sep 15 El SalvadorIndependence Day: Commemorates independence of the Central American provinces from Spanish rule in 1821
Sep 15 GuatemalaIndependence Day: Commemorates independence of the entire Central America from Spanish rule in 1821
Sep 15 HondurasIndependence Day: Commemorates independence of the Central American provinces from Spanish rule in 1821
Sep 15 NicaraguaIndependence Day: Independence from Spain in 1821
Sep 16 MexicoIndependence Day: Grito de Dolores, declaration of independence from Spain in 1810
Sep 16 Papua New GuineaIndependence Day: Independence from Australia in 1975
Sep 18 ChileIndependence Day: The first Government Junta is created 1810
Sep 19 Saint Kitts and NevisIndependence Day: Independence from the United Kingdom 1983
Sep 21 MaltaIndependence Day: Malta gained its Independence from Britain on this day in 1964
Sep 22 MaliIndependence Day: Independence from the Mali Federation in 1960
Sep 23 Saudi ArabiaNational Day: Unification of the kingdoms Nejd and Hejaz in 1932
Sep 24 Guinea-BissauNational Day: Declaration of independence from Portugal in 1973
Sep 30 BotswanaBotswana Day: Independence from the United Kingdom in 1966

September Observances

Throughout the month, there are days set aside to observe all sorts of events, some serious and some not so serious. These days can provide interesting ways to engage employees in diversity issues. The table below shows a selection of these days with some ideas how you could use them within your organisation.

4thNational Wildlife DayAction: count how many animals you can see while at the office.
5thInternational Day of Charity  Poll: Does your company have a specific charity it supports?
8thInternational Literacy Day  Discussion: What is your favourite book?
10thNational National Boss/Employee Exchange DayAction for managers: Switch some tasks for a day with your team.
22ndCar Free DayPoll: How do you get to work?
25thNational Comic Book DayDiscussion: Who is your favourite comic book character, and why?
26thNational Johnny Appleseed DayAction: plant some seeds today.
27thWorld Tourism DayDiscussion: Where is your favourite place to visit?