Archive for September 2017

History of Yom Kippur: Day of Atonement

YOM KIPPUR The Jewish High Holy Days begin with Rosh Hashana and continue until Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur, the “Day of Atonement,” or more correctly Yom ha-Kippurim (Leviticus 16), goes back to Jewish antiquity almost 4,000 years to the time of Moses. This most solemn occasion of the Jewish Festival cycle was the season for…

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History of Oktoberfest: Why is it in September?

HISTORY OF OKTOBERFEST Why is the famous German beer festival held in September if it’s called Oktoberfest? Officially, the beer festival starts the third Saturday in September through early October for 16 to 18 days. History The first Oktoberfest was held in 1810 to celebrate the royal wedding in Munich — the capital of the…

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History of the Aspens

HISTORY OF THE ASPENS Every year about this time, Fall is ushered in by a flush of Aspen trees as their leaves turn to gold. Where I live in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, the particular aspen is called the trembling or quaking aspen. The broad leaf and the flattened stem cause them to flutter in…

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History of Rosh Hashana

HISTORY OF ROSH HASHANA Rosh Hashana designates the beginning of the Jewish new year, starting today — which according to the Jewish calendar began at sundown last night. “Rosh” is Hebrew for “head” and Rosh Hashana refers to the head of the year on the 1st day of Tishri, the seventh month. Judaism has a…

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History of Talk Like a Pirate Day

HISTORY OF TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY The International Talk Like A Pirate Day began not back in the Golden Age of Pirates in days of yore but in 2002. Celebrated each year on September 19, though it started in the United States, it is now celebrated internationally across the Seven Seas. The Tale The legend…

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History of Ethiopian New Year: What is Enkutatash?

HISTORY OF ETHIOPIAN NEW YEAR: WHAT IS ENKUTATASH? Why is your friendly neighborhood historian writing about the Ethiopian New Year? A couple of years ago the Washington Post interviewed me for an article they were publishing on the subject. The Washington D.C. area has over 200,000 Ethiopian-Americans who celebrate the holiday this year on September 11. A group of local…

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History of Patriot Day: 9/11

HISTORY OF PATRIOT DAY: 9/11 With the following words and many others, President George W. Bush designated September 11 to be regarded as Patriot Day, or by the name America Remembers: By the President of the United States of America A Proclamation On this first observance of Patriot Day, we remember and honor those who perished…

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History of Star Trek: Over Half a Century

HISTORY OF STAR TREK On this day last year, we marked the 50th anniversary of the premiere of Star Trek on NBC TV in 1966, so this year is the 51st. It is my favorite show, I was glued to the TV for the first episode and every one thereafter. It had a major influence…

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