And so we sashay into September. I’ve always thought September to be a bit of a weird month. It has the identity crisis of being the ninth month, and yet has seven in the title (hat tip, the Romans), the year is winding down, and yet gearing up for academia, which signals (in my mind anyway) the traditional back to school heatwave despite today being the first meteorological day of autumn. Not to mention astronomical autumn beginning on the 22nd at the equinox. And don’t get me started on the lost days between 3rd and 13th, when the calendars changed from Julian to Gregorian in 1752. And then there’s Earth, Wind and Fire’s fabulous calendar shout out on the 21st.
Although some harvests started in August, it’s September when they really swing into action. Or at least the celebrations for the harvest do. Even this month’s full moon is called the Wine and Song Moon. The weather predictions aren’t as hot and heavy in September as in previous months, although it’s said that the weather around the equinox and Mabon determine the weather for the rest of the year. Incidentally, I only spied two fogs in August, which equals two coming snowfalls this winter.
So what are you getting up to this month? Will you be making corn dollies and hanging them in your kitchen? How about some emergency blackberry picking before Michaelmas Day? Or talking like a pirate? Personally, I’m everso slightly excited about making a harvest bun special called a Suffolk fourses cake. Fourses are like afternoon elevenses, because they were eaten during the mid-afternoon break in the fields. So that means the day now goes breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, lunch, after lunch, fourses, tea, dinner, dessert, cheese, toast. Always good to add to the snack canon (in the name of folklore, of course).
As last month proved, I’m still missing out on some good folklore, so if you come across anything you think I should try, tied to the ritual year or not, let me know. I’m after folklore, traditions, superstitions, sayings, recipes, remedies, spells, gardening tips, personal, universal, instant. Anything goes. I’m especially after full moon folklore for tomorrow night if you have any. I still suffer from #FolkloreFOMO but now I’m a bit more sanguine than at the start of the year. Sanguine, but not complacent.
So here’s a looksee at what’s coming up this month:
4 September – Who can resist a Friday night National Fish and Chip Day?
14 September – Tempting fate with the Devil whilst going a-nutting
27 September – Shouting ‘toss on’ a lot during a bout of stone skimming in honour of the World Stone Skimming Championships
Let me know your thoughts in the comments. You can also follow and tweet me @lilithepunk and through the hashtags #EverydayLore and #FolkloreFOMO on Twitter, and if you want to keep up to date with a daily or weekly dose of this foolery, subscribe!
Right, I’m now off to write five postcards for World Letter Writing Day…
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Cooper, Q. and Sullivan, P. (1994) Maypoles, Martyrs & Mayhem: 366 Days of British Myths, Customs & Eccentricities, London, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Day, B. (1998) A Chronicle of Folk Customs, London, Hamlyn
Jones, J. and Deer, B. (1987) Cattern Cakes and Lace, London, Dorling Kindersley Limited
Leendertz, L. (2019) The Almanac, A Seasonal Guide to 2020, London, Mitchell Beazley
Roud, S. (2006) The English Year: A Month-By-Month Guide To The Nation’s Customs and Festivals, From May Day to Mischief Night, London, Penguin Books