An assortment of mushrooms in a basket

"The Fantasticks" ran for 42 years off-Broadway, and it's been produced in 67 countries around the world. Its popularity is probably due to its memorable songs, the story and the minimalist set design. The opening number "Try to Remember" talks about fall:

Try to remember the kind of September When life was slow and oh, so mellow. Try to remember the kind of September When grass was green and grain so yellow. September might be when the leaves die and the grass turns brown, but in some ways, it's a fresh start. Children go back to school. It's the start of the fiscal year for many businesses and the government. The Eastern Orthodox Church begins its liturgical calendar in September. The list of holidays and celebrations during this month would take pages to explore, so we'll just hit the highlights. The word "September" comes from the Latin word for seven, because in the original calendar, September was the seventh month. When the calendar was reformed to add January and February to the beginning of the year, the name didn't change. The birth flowers in September are the forget-me-not, morning glory and aster, all blue flowers which may be representative of September's birthstone, the sapphire.

September Observances in the United States

During the month, the healthcare community tries to bring awareness to many different issues:

Ovarian cancer Leukemia and lymphoma Thyroid cancer Childhood obesity Hydrocephalus Chronic pain Prostate cancer and health Sickle cell disorders

If you have experienced loss due to one of these illnesses, you may be very aware of the issues. If not, take some time to read up on one of these problems to have more empathy for those who are dealing with serious diseases.

On a lighter note, September celebrates the fall harvest. It's been named:

National Papaya Month National Whole Grains Month National Rice Month National Honey Month National Potato Month National Mushroom Month

It's also when people start thinking about decorating for fall. If you're a planner, you might even be thinking about Halloween and Christmas. It's never too early to start saving for the holidays.

National Suicide Prevention Week begins on September 10. It's a campaign designed to increase awareness about suicide prevention and decrease the stigma of asking for help. Suicide is a huge problem in the United States. The American Association of Suicidology, the sponsor of NSPW, estimates that there are almost 5 million survivors of attempted suicide in the nation. Teenagers, military veterans, and LGBTQ youth and adults are at a higher risk for suicide, but it can affect anyone.

September 10 marks National Grandparents' Day in the United States. It's always celebrated on the first Sunday following Labor Day, when then-President Jimmy Carter signed the proclamation in 1978. The forget-me-not is the flower for Grandparents' Day, but in many places, the forget-me-not only blooms in the spring, not the fall. Thus, seasonal flowers are appropriate. This year, remember your own grandparents and the contribution they made to your life, but also remember the seniors in your community who may have mentored you as if you were their grandchild.

Another recognition that began in 1978 is Hobbit Day and Tolkien Week. Tolkien Week is always celebrated during the calendar week that includes September 22, the birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. J. R. R. Tolkien is best remembered for his "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, which have become one of the most popular works of fiction of the 20th century. Tolkien is considered the father of modern fantasy, but he was a scholar in his own right, outside of the books he wrote.

September is a month of many observances. While you may not be able to celebrate every holiday, take time to explore one theme to enhance your life and awareness of what's around you in the community.

Category: Holidays and Observances Religion

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