Holidays

History of September

HISTORY OF SEPTEMBER You may have noticed that September sounds like the Latin word for Seven. And you’d be perceptive — septem is the Latin word for seven and this month used to be the seventh month of the ancient Roman calendar. This Latin numbering follows with the remaining months of the year, as I’ve…

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History of the Holidays

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HISTORY OF THE HOLIDAYS Welcome to this year’s edition of the History of the Holidays. I’m Bill Petro, your friendly neighborhood historian. From now through the Spring or vernal equinox, we celebrate most of the major secular and sacred holidays. This is a series that recounts the history behind the major American holidays, some of…

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History of August

HISTORY OF AUGUST What’s in a name? The name of this month wasn’t always August, previously it was called Sextilis by the Romans, back in the days of Romulus in 753 BC when there were originally 10 months (Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec.) The Roman Senate, in 8 B.C. decided to honor their first Emperor, Augustus…

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History of Reek Sunday, part 3: Location

HISTORY OF REEK SUNDAY, Part 3: LOCATION In our previous article on Reek Sunday, we discussed the Pilgrimage to County Mayo, Ireland for Cruach Phadraig — as it is known in Irish — that is also called “The Reek.” It stands at 764 meters or 2510 feet elevation. It is located about 5 miles from…

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History of Reek Sunday, part 2: Pilgrimage

HISTORY OF REEK SUNDAY, part 2: PILGRIMAGE Pilgrims, nature lovers, archeologists, historians, and hill climbers come from all over the world to climb the mountain on Reek Sunday. In our previous article, we discussed the Tradition. Here we discuss the pilgrimage that has been going on for centuries, and an older one for millennia. More…

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History of Reek Sunday

HISTORY OF REEK SUNDAY Several years ago at this time of the Summer, I was on the west coast of Ireland, where they say, “West o’ here, ta next parish over, tat’s Boston.” This Sunday, the last one in July every year, marks Reek Sunday, or Garland Sunday in Ireland. At this time between 25,000…

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History of Bastille Day

HISTORY OF BASTILLE DAY Each year on July 14 Bastille Day is celebrated to commemorate the Storming of the Bastille in Paris on this date in 1798, an important date in the French Revolution. The day features feasting, fireworks, public dancing, and an address by the French President. However, the center of this celebration is…

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History of the 4th of July: John Adams

John Adams

HISTORY OF THE 4TH OF JULY: JOHN ADAMS Before John Adams became the first Vice President of the United States under George Washington, second President of the United States, the first resident of the White House, and writer of the Massachusetts State Constitution he had a role during the Revolutionary War period as one of the…

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