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Festival Calendar

September 2007

Find myth- and Mythic Journeys-related events on our
Annual Calendar

Zulu Reed Dance maidensUmkhosi woMhlangaThe Reed Dance Festival
Zululand, South Africa
10,000 Zulu virgins converge at the Enyokeni Zulu Royal Palace in September every year to celebrate the Umkhosi woMhlanga (Reed Dance Festival). The Reed dance is an activity that promotes purity among virgin girls and respect for young women. During the Reed Dance, each maiden carries a reed which has been cut by the riverbed and it symbolizes the power that is vested in nature. The reeds reflect a deep mythical connection with origin of the Zulu people, where the original ancestor emerged from a reed bed. The reeds are carried to the palace for the king to inspect. In Zulu mythology, if a young woman who is not a virgin takes part in the Reed Dance ceremony, her reed will break causing public humiliation.

September 4 — Labor Day
Puerto Rico, U.S.

September 7 — Independence Day

September 12 — Brilliant Venus
Venus hits its greatest brilliancy (magnitude -4.5) and maintains it for more than a month. Now a morning star, it rises higher each day before dawn.

September 12 to 14 — Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year
Occurs 162 days after the first day of Pesach (Passover). In the Gregorian calendar at present, Rosh Hashanah cannot occur before September 5, as happened in 1899 and will happen again in 2013. After the year 2089, the differences between the Hebrew calendar and the Gregorian calendar will force Rosh Hashanah to be not earlier than September 6. Rosh Hashanah cannot occur later than October 5, as happened in 1967 and will happen again in 2043. The Hebrew calendar is so constituted that the first day of Rosh Hashanah can never occur on Wednesday, Friday, or Sunday; the popular mnemonic is "lo be-adu rosh" ("Rosh [Hashanah] is not on adu"), where adu has the numerical value 1-4-6 (corresponding to the numbering of days in the Jewish week, in which Sunday is, broadly speaking, the first day).

September 15 & 16 — Independence Days

September 17 — Keiro No Hi - Respect for the Aged Day
Japan (the third Monday in September)

September 17 — Citizenship Day
Formerly called Constitution Day, Citizenship Day marks the anniversary of the date in 1787 when the final draft of the constitution of the United States was signed by delegates to the Constitutional Convention after months of wrangling.

September 19, 21, 22 — Ember Days
Folklore has it that the weather on each of these three days foretells the weather for three successive months; Wednesday, September 19, forecasts the weather for October; Friday, September 21, for November; and Saturday, September 22, for December.

September 23 — Autumnal Equinox, Mabon
Second Harvest festival celebrating the Mysteries, Equality and Balance. Fall begins at 5:51 A.M. (Eastern Time) today. The autumnal equinox is defined as the point at which the Sun appears to cross the celestial equator from north to south. The celestial equator is the circle in the celestial sphere halfway between the celestial poles. It can be thought of as the plane of Earth's equator projected out onto the sphere. The word equinox means "equal night," when night and day are of the same duration. In Europe, the conclusion of the harvest each autumn was once marked by festivals of fun, feasting, and thanksgiving known as "Harvest Home." It was also a time to hold elections, pay workers, and collect rents. These festivals usually took place around the time of the autumnal equinox.

September 23 — Shubun No Hi - Autumn Equinox Day
Graves are visited during the week (Ohigan) of the Equinox Day.

September 23 — National Day
Saudi Arabia

September 24 — Heritage Day
South Africa

September 26 — Full Moon
The Britons name for this moon is the Fruit Moon. Native Americans called it the Harvest Moon. It is also known as the Travel Moon, the Dying Grass Moon, the Blood Moon, and in India it is called Kojagiri or Sharad Pornima

September 17 to October 3 — Sukkot
One of three pilgrimage festivals, Sukkot commemorates the 40 years of wandering in the desert following the Jews expulsion from Egypt. It includes a celebration of the grape harvest. Temporary houses called sukkahs are constructed which are decorated with foods that celebrate the harvest. Families enjoy their meals in these structures, which represent the tents erected in the fields of ancient Palestine. They also represent the temporary housing the children of Israel had to live in while they wandered in the desert searching for the promised land. Symbols of Sukkot include palm leaves and lemons. More information on this holiday.