History of the Holidays: Will COVID-19 Impact The Holidays?

September 25, 2020
hoh

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 the minor ones, and a few international ones as well. This year is unique: we’re experiencing a worldwide pandemic that impacts travel, socializing, and group activities: Labor Day: celebrations were a bit muted Patriot Day: 9-11 remembrances were smaller Oktoberfest: has been canceled Halloween: how…

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History of the Aspens

September 24, 2020
Aspen Panorama

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 broadleaf and the flattened stem cause them to flutter in the breeze. It is a type of poplar tree called populus tremuloides. As tourists visit New England in Autumn for Leaves and Lobsters, visitors come to Colorado to Leaf Peep as the aspens change to dramatic yellows, golds, and reds. The change in color occurs first…

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History of Oktoberfest: Why is it in September?

September 23, 2020
Oktoberfest Girl

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. But not this year, Oktoberfest 2020 has been canceled due to to the Coronavirus pandemic. So let’s look back at Oktoberfest’s origin. History The first Oktoberfest was held in 1810 to celebrate the royal wedding in Munich — the capital of the old kingdom of Bavaria — between Ludwig, the Bavarian Crown Prince and Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen, princess of Saxe-Altenburg. The celebration began October 12…

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History of Fall: What is the Autumnal Equinox?

September 22, 2020

History of the Fall: how does it relate to the Autumnal Equinox?

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History of Talk Like a Pirate Day

September 19, 2020
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 goes that its origin was June 6, 1995, during a racquetball game between John Baur and Mark Summers, when Pirate expletives were uttered following an injury. But because this is the observance of D-Day, the date was set instead for September 19, the birthday of…

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History of Rosh Hashanah

September 18, 2020
shofar 765746

HISTORY OF ROSH HASHANAH Rosh Hashanah designates the beginning of the Jewish new year, starting tomorrow — which according to the Jewish calendar begins at sundown tonight. “Rosh” is Hebrew for “head” and Rosh Hashanah refers to the head of the year on the 1st day of Tishri, the seventh month of the Jewish ecclesiastical calendar. It marks the beginning of the civil year. Judaism has a solar/lunar calendar system, in which the lunar reckoning predominates. The first in the cycle of months is Nissan (which has nothing to do with the automobile manufacturer), the month in which Passover occurs.…

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History of the Marathon

September 14, 2020
boston marathon

HISTORY OF THE MARATHON [The Boston Athletic Association has announced that the 124th Boston Marathon will be held as a virtual event, following Boston Mayor Martin Walsh’s cancellation of the marathon as a mass participation road running event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The virtual Boston Marathon will be complemented by a series of virtual events throughout the second week of September.] Today in Boston, Massachusetts is the closing ceremony of the Boston Marathon signified by two MEDEVAC HH-60 Black Hawks flying over the Boston Marathon course, crossing the start line in Hopkinton at 10:00 AM and following the race…

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History of Ethiopian New Year: What is Enkutatash?

September 12, 2020
Ethiopian flag

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 12. A group of local Ethiopian activists and businessmen want to make the day, known as Enkutatash in Ethi­o­pia, a part of the American roster of holidays, in a way that is very similar to St. Patrick’s Day or Cinco de Mayo. Columbus Day, for example, was popularized out…

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History of Patriot Day: 9-11

September 11, 2020
9-11 Firefighters

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 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 in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. We will not forget the events of that terrible morning nor will we forget how Americans responded in New York City, at the Pentagon, and in the skies over Pennsylvania — with heroism and selflessness; with compassion and courage;…

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History of the Holidays: Will COVID-19 Impact The Holidays?

September 25, 2020

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…

Read More

History of the Aspens

September 24, 2020

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 broadleaf and the flattened stem cause them to flutter in…

Read More

History of Oktoberfest: Why is it in September?

September 23, 2020

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. But not this year, Oktoberfest 2020 has been canceled due to to the Coronavirus pandemic. So let’s look back at…

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History of Fall: What is the Autumnal Equinox?

September 22, 2020

History of the Fall: how does it relate to the Autumnal Equinox?

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History of Talk Like a Pirate Day

September 19, 2020

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…

Read More