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 separate 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, Cambodia’s Hungary Ghosts 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 7: 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
- The United States has no statutory minimum paid vacation or paid public holidays. The decision is left with employers to offer any such benefits.
Notable Holidays in September
Sept 7: Brazilian Independence Day
On 7 September 1822, a declaration of independence from Portugal was made by Pedro di Alcântara, the son of the Portuguese King. Brazil had been a colony of Portugal since the 16th century. In 1807 France had invaded Portugal and the Portuguese royal family had escaped to Brazil. in 1815, Brazil was given equal kingdom status with Portugal. By 1820, the French had withdrawn from Portugal and the royal family. Alcântara, better known as Pedro I, became the first emperor of Brazil and ruled from 1823 until 1831. Brazil became a republic in 1889 but kept 7th September as its Independence Day. Independence Day has been a federal holiday in Brazil since 1949. On this day there are celebrations in the capital, Brasilia, with military parades, air shows, musical concerts and fireworks in the evening.
Sept 16: Mexican Independence Day
Also known as ‘Día de la Independencia’ or ‘Grito de Dolores’, Mexico’s national day 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 ordered that the village church bell be rung to gather his congregation, then called for insurrection and ended by calling out, Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe! Viva Fernando VII! Abajo el mal gobierno! [Long live Our Lady of Guadalupe! Long live Fernando VII! Down with the bad government!].
Hidalgo’s proclamation called for an end to Spanish rule in Mexico, encouraging rebellion and insurrection against the Spanish.
Sept 16: Cambodia Hungary Ghosts Festival
Pchum Ben, also known as Ancestors’ Day or ‘Hungry Ghosts Festival’, is a 15-day Cambodian religious festival, which culminates in celebrations on the 15th day of the tenth month in the Khmer calendar, marking the end of the Buddhist lent.
Phcum Ben starts on the first day of the waning moon in the month of Putrobut until the 15th day before the new moon. Each of the the first fourteen days of the festival is called a day of Kan Ban. The 15th and last day is called ‘Pchum Ben’ and is the start of a two day public holiday.
In Khmer, the language of Cambodia, Pchum means ‘to gather together’ and Ben means ‘a ball of food’. Pchum Ben, also called ‘Brochum Ben’ is the most important festival in the Khmer religious calendar. The day is a time for Cambodians to pay their respects to their ancestors of up to seven generations.
Sept 22, Japan Autumnal Equinox
The sun rises exactly in the east and sets exactly in the west on this day, making day and night equal in length.
From this day forward, the sun crosses over the equator to the Southern Hemisphere, meaning it rises and sets in the Southern Hemisphere, meaning that the days will begin to become shorter than nights in the Northern Hemisphere, heralding the arrival of Autumn.
Autumnal Equinox Day was established as a national holiday in 1948. Before then, the autumnal equinox was an imperial ancestor worship festival called ‘Shūki kōrei-sai’ and the holiday had its roots in Shinto traditions as a time to give thanks to the deities for a successful harvest.
The Japanese use Autumnal Equinox Day to pay respects to deceased family members, visit family graves and hold family reunions in honour of those who have passed.
Food is an integral part of so many festivals and holidays. As making and sharing food is a great and tasty way of increasing understanding of these celebrations, every month we will feature a recipe that can be made to help celebrate a key holiday.
September 19th: Rosh Hashanah
Apple Honey Cake
The tradition of eating sweet foods for Rosh Hashanah, the celebration of the Jewish new year, can be traced back to the ancient Jews. The sweetness of the honey was eaten in hopes of being blessed with a sweet new year, and the apple has symbolic meaning in the Jewish faith as it symbolizes the Garden of Eden.
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||Slovakia||Day of the Constitution of the Slovak Republic: The constitution was proclaimed on 1 September 1992|
|Sep 01||Uzbekistan||Independence Day: Became the independent Republic of Uzbekistan on 1 September 1991|
|Sep 02||Vietnam||National Day: Declaration of independence from France and China in 1945|
|Sep 03||San Marino||Republic Day: Independence from the Roman Empire in year 301 (traditional date)|
|Sep 06||Swaziland||Somhlolo Day: Independence from United Kingdom in 1968|
|Sep 07||Brazil||Dia da Independência: Declared Independence from Portugal on this date in 1822|
|Sep 08||Andorra||Our Lady of Meritxell Day: Patron saint of Andorra|
|Sep 08||Macedonia||Independence Day: Den na nezavisnosta. Declaration of independence from Yugoslavia 1991|
|Sep 09||North Korea||National Day: Declaration of a democratic people’s republic in 1948|
|Sep 09||Tajikistan||Independence Day: Independence from the Soviet Union in 1991|
|Sep 10||Belize||St. George’s Caye Day: The Battle of St. George’s Caye on 10 September 1798 ended Spanish interest in the region|
|Sep 10||Gibraltar||Gibraltar National Day: Gibraltar voted to remain under British sovereignty in a referendum of 1967|
|Sep 15||Costa Rica||Independence Day: Commemorates independence of the entire Central America from Spanish rule in 1821|
|Sep 15||El Salvador||Independence Day: Commemorates independence of the Central American provinces from Spanish rule in 1821|
|Sep 15||Guatemala||Independence Day: Commemorates independence of the entire Central America from Spanish rule in 1821|
|Sep 15||Honduras||Independence Day: Commemorates independence of the Central American provinces from Spanish rule in 1821|
|Sep 15||Nicaragua||Independence Day: Independence from Spain in 1821|
|Sep 16||Mexico||Independence Day: Grito de Dolores, declaration of independence from Spain in 1810|
|Sep 16||Papua New Guinea||Independence Day: Independence from Australia in 1975|
|Sep 18||Chile||Independence Day: The first Government Junta is created 1810|
|Sep 19||St. Kitts and Nevis||Independence Day: Independence from the United Kingdom 1983|
|Sep 21||Malta||Independence Day: Malta gained its Independence from Britain on this day in 1964|
|Sep 22||Mali||Independence Day: Independence from the Mali Federation in 1960|
|Sep 23||Saudi Arabia||National Day: Unification of the kingdoms Nejd and Hejaz in 1932|
|Sep 24||Guinea-Bissau||National Day: Declaration of independence from Portugal in 1973|
|Sep 30||Botswana||Botswana Day: Independence from the United Kingdom in 1966|
There is a Day for That!
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 on how you could use them within your organization.
|2nd||Labor Day||Take our quiz to see how much you know about this Federal Holiday|
|4th||National Wildlife Day||Action: count how many animals you can see while at the office.|
|5th||International Day of Charity||Poll: Does your company have a specific charity it supports?|
|8th||International Literacy Day||Discussion: What is your favorite book?|
|22nd||Car Free Day||Poll: How do you get to work?|
|25th||National Comic Book Day||Discussion: Who is your favourite comic book character, and why?|
|26th||National Johnny Appleseed Day||Action: plant some seeds today.|
|27th||World Tourism Day||Discussion: Where is your favorite place to visit?|