From The Old Farmers Almanac

What happens in the month of September? It’s a little for everyone: the last days of summer and the first days of fall. See September holidays, advice, recipes, fun facts, and trivia below.

September, in Old England, was called Haervest-monath (Harvest Month). This is the time to gather up the rest of the harvest and prepare for the winter months.

There are flowers enough in the summertime,
More flowers than I can remember—
But none with the purple, gold, and red
That dye the flowers of September!

—Mary Howitt (1799-1888)


September’s name comes from the Latin word septem, meaning “seven.” This month had originally been the seventh month of the early Roman calendar.


  • September 6—the first Monday in September—is Labor Day. Canadians also observe Labour Day.
  • September 6 is also Rosh Hashanah, a Jewish holiday that marks the beginning of the new year.
  • September 11 is Patriot Day, held in honor and remembrance of those who died in the September 11 attacks of 2001. This year marks the 20th anniversary of September 11.
  • September 12 is Grandparents Day. Honor your grandparents today—and every day!
  • September 15 is Yom Kippur, the holiest holiday in the Jewish calendar.
  • September 17 is Constitution Day. This day celebrates the adoption of the U.S. Constitution, which occurred on September 17, 1787 (just five years prior to the founding of The Old Farmer’s Almanac, believe it or not!).
  • September 21 is recognized as the annual International Day of Peace. Observances range from a moment of silence at noon to events such as peace walks, concerts, and volunteering in the community.
  • September 22 marks the start of fall! This year’s Autumnal Equinox occurs at 3:20 P.M. EDT on Wednesday, September 22. At this time, there are approximately equal hours of daylight and darkness.
  • September 29 is Michaelmas. Michaelmas is an ancient Celtic “Quarter Day” which marked the end of the harvesting season and was steeped in folklore.

“Just for Fun” Days

Have fun with these strange celebrations in September!

  • September is National Happy Cat Month
  • September 8: National Hug Your Hound Day
  • September 13: Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day
  • September 19: International Talk Like a Pirate Day
  • September 24: National Punctuation Day


Mid-Autumn Festival: September 20–21, 2021

Also known as the Moon Festival, this holiday has been celebrated for at least 3,000 years and is said to be the second largest festival in China after the Chinese New Year. Observed on the 15th day of the eighth month of the traditional Chinese lunar calendar, it can occur in either September or early October in the Gregorian calendar.

This autumn festival occurs during the full Moon nearest the fall equinox, which is traditionally said to be the brightest and roundest. Local festivities might involve brightly colored lanterns, dances, games, and other entertainments. Families and friends celebrate into the evening to give thanks for the harvest and for being together, offering each other wishes for happiness and long life and remembering loved ones who live far away.

Celebrants may make offerings to the Moon goddess Chang’e or share traditional mooncakes by moonlight. These round pastries, which symbolize the full Moon and reunion, are often filled with red bean or lotus seed paste surrounding a salted egg yolk in the center.

September Zodiac

September’s zodiac signs are Virgo (Aug. 23–Sept. 22) and Libra (Sept. 23–Oct. 22). Find out your zodiac profile!

See the Best Days to do things this month.


Full Harvest Moon

September’s full moon, the Harvest Moon, reaches peak illumination on Monday, September 20, at 7:54 P.M. EDT. Read more about September’s Full Moon!

Moon Phases for September

New Moon: September 6, 8:52 P.M. EDT
First Quarter: September 13, 4:41 P.M. EDT
Full Moon: September 20, 7:54 P.M. EDT
Last Quarter: September 28, 9:58 P.M. EDT
See more about Moon Phases.

Check out our Sky Watch for the month’s best night sky events.


We like to think of September as the month of apples, as apple-picking becomes a common weekend pastime. Here are a few recipes for this fruit of the season:

Wondering which kind of apples to use in your dish? See the Best Apples for Baking: Apple Pie, Applesauce, Cider & More to find out!

For more fall recipes, use our Recipe Search.


The garden may be winding down, but there’s still plenty left to do!

See more gardening jobs for September.


If you’re planning on baking some apple pies, try consulting our Best Apples for Baking article.

Do you still have herbs left over? If so, use them to make your own herbal remedies.

Try this fun fall craft using apples: Apple Heads.

Help out the birds this coming winter by preparing some bird food for them.


  • Heavy September rains bring drought.
  • September dries up ditches or breaks down bridges.
  • September blow soft, till the fruit’s in the loft.
  • Married in September’s golden glow, smooth and serene your life will go.
  • If the storms of September clear off warm, the storms of the following winter will be warm.
  • Fair on September 1st, fair for the month.


September’s birth flowers are the aster and the morning glory. The aster signifies powerful love, and the China aster expresses variety or afterthought in the language of flowers. The morning glory symbolizes affection. It can also mean coquetry, affectation, or bonds in the language of flowers. Find out more about September’s birth flowers and the language of flowers.


The September birthstone is the sapphire, which was once thought to guard against evil and poisoning.

  • Sapphire is a form of corundum that is typically blue, a color caused by tiny bits of iron and titanium; the vivid, medium blues are more valuable than lighter or darker forms. Due to various trace elements, sapphires also appear in other colors. Those with red colors are called rubies.
  • Sapphires were thought to encourage divine wisdom and protection. They symbolized purity, truth, trust, and loyalty. Some believed that if they were placed in a jar with a snake, the snake would die.
  • The sapphire, along with the related ruby, are the second-hardest natural gemstones, with only the diamond being harder.

Find out more about September’s birthstone.


September 12: Choices

On this day in 1962, President John F. Kennedy went to Rice University in Houston, Texas, to make a speech justifying his proposed $5.4 billion space program. He had called on Congress in the previous year to fund a massive project to put a man on the Moon and bring him home safely before the end of the decade. Toward that end, he asked his vice president, Lyndon Johnson, to make it happen. Johnson, a Texan, was happy to oblige.

The plan was to establish a Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, upon land that had been made available by Rice University (which had received it from Humble Oil and Refining Company). If that happened, federal money would flow to that city and to Rice, a university distinguished for its scholarship, if not for its football. In football, the University of Texas was king, although Rice gamely played Texas every year.

Kennedy challenged 35,000 listeners, sweltering in the Rice football stadium, to think big: “But why, some say, the Moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask, Why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic?” he asked. Then he added another impossible goal, one he had jotted in the margin only minutes earlier: “Why does Rice play Texas?”

The line drew a huge laugh and added a touch of humor and humility to the soaring rhetoric. His speech continued, soon issuing the now famous lines, “We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard … .”

Kennedy eventually got his moonshot, although he did not live to see Neil Armstrong’s 1969 moonwalk. And, three years after the speech, in 1965, Rice beat Texas. It would be 28 years before that happened again.



Around this time of year superstitions seems to come at us from all over the place. With this in mind I pulled out my book Cassell Dictionary of Superstitions by David Pickering Copyright 1995.

I will be posting a few today and tomorrow in among the articles, spells, potions, etc for Samhain and Beltane. If there is a superstition that has been passed down in your family or that you believe in and would like some more information about them please write a description of the superstition in the comment area.

Many times during my youth my mother, who is now in the Summerlands, told me they story of her grandmother picking up and throwing the first pair of shoes she ever bought for herself across the room a breaking the heel off one of them. The reason being her grandmother believed that putting shoes on the table was bad luck. My family has many other superstitions that I will share as we get closer to our holidays.





There are many superstitions and old wives’ tales about the house and home. Are they fact or fiction? Let us know what you think.

These sayings for good luck in your home come from The Old Farmer’s Almanac folklore archives.

Scatter Solomon’s seal on the floor to banish serpents and venomous creatures from the room.

To protect your house from lightning, gather hazel tree branches on Palm Sunday and keep them in water.

Add caraway seeds to chicken feed to keep poultry from wandering. Feed the seeds to homing pigeons to help them find their way back.

Stuff fennel in your keyhole or hang it over your door to protect against evil spirits. (Of course, we now know fennel has many natural remedy benefits to help keep us healthy!)

Never carry a hoe into the house. If you do so by mistake, carry it out again, walking backward to avoid bad luck.

Never walk under a ladder, which is Satan’s territory. If you must do it, cross your fingers or make the sign of the fig (closed fist, with thumb between index and middle fingers).

If you give a steel blade to a friend, make the recipient pay you a penny to avoid cutting the friendship.

Never give a knife as a housewarming present, or your new neighbor will become an enemy.

Never pound a nail after sundown, or you will wake the tree gods.

Nail an evergreen branch to new rafters to bring good luck. An empty hornets’ nest, hung high, also will bring good luck to a house of any age.

When you move to a new house, always enter first with a loaf of bread and a new broom. Never bring an old broom into the house.


The Old Farmer’s Almanac

A Little Broom Lore and Superstition For Your Wednesday

Look at me...Medusa

A Little Broom Lore and Superstition For Your Wednesday

*Certainly, the most common superstition connected with brooms is that they were used by witches to fly on… However, did you know that it was in the fourteenth century that brooms were first regarded as a vehicle for witches’ transportation? This tradition may stem from the fact that, in many of their ceremonies, witches did dance with a stick between their legs, jumping high in the air. Toward the end of the eighteenth century, the question of witches flying was settled once and for all in an English law court. Lord Mansfield declared that he knew of no law that prohibited flying and, therefore, anyone so inclined was perfectly free to do so.bShortly thereafter, reports of witches flying on broomsticks ceased (except for isolated reports of East Anglian witches skimming across church spires).

*It is said that a new broom should sweep dirt out of a house only after it has swept something in.

*An ole English Rhyme…..”Buy a broom in May, and you will sweep your friends away.”

*Also never sweep after sunset since so doing will chase away happiness or hurt a wandering soul.

*According to Yorkshire belief, should a young girl inadvertently step over a broom handle she will become a mother before a wife…..
(I will add here….this belief is also Appalachia and rural country folk)

*Among the Dyak people of Indonesia brooms made out of the leaves of a certain plant (doesn’t say which plant) are sprinkled with rice water and blood. These are used to sweep one’s house, and the sweepings are placed into a toy house made of bamboo. The toy house is then set adrift on a river. It is believed that bad luck will be carried out to sea with it.

*In Africa, should a man be struck by a broom, he will grab hold of it and hit the broomstick seven times, or he will become impotent.

*In Sicily, on Midsummer’s Eve, people often put a broom outside their homes to ward off any wickedness that might come knocking.

*In Wales, among the Gypsies, an old custom of the broomstick wedding persisted for some time. The couple solemnized their rites before witnesses by leaping over a broom placed in a doorway, without dislodging the broom. Should they wish to dissolve the marriage, they simply had to reverse the process, jumping backwards out of the house, over the broom, before the same witnesses.

*American country folk say no good can come of carrying a broom across water, leaning a broom against the bed, or burning one. Good luck can be had by sending a new broom and a loaf of bread into a new home before entering it.

*Likewise, brooms laid across the doorways are believed to keep out bad…

*And a few more traditional ones….
Never use a broom when there is a dead person in the house.
Never use a broom to sweep outside the house, unless the inside of the house has been cleaned first. (oops!)
Never walk on a broom.
Never sweep upstairs rooms in the afternoon.
Never sweep the room of a departing guest until he has been gone for some time, or else your sweeping will bring him back
Never bring old brooms into new houses…(remember a broom becomes attached to houses…always leave the old one behind….)
Finally………always sweep dustballs into the middle of a room…..they will protect against bad luck

*One old wart cure consists of measuring a wart crosswise with a broom straw, then burying the straw The straw, so intimately connected with the wart, will decay, and so too should the blemish.

*Placing a broom across any doorway allows your departed friends and family to speak to you if they so choose. As long as the broom remains in place, they can communicate freely.

*If you feel as though you are being followed and haunted by unfriendly ghosts, stepping over a broomstick will prevent them from disturbing you.

Let’s Talk Witch – Household Omens and Portents

Friday 13th Comments

Let’s Talk Witch – Household Omens and Portents


Let your furniture predict your future? The idea may sound strange, but for centuries-from Babylonian times and even earlier-household objects and occurrences have been prized for glimpses of future events.

Many of these ancient ideas are odd, alien or amusing, but they do reflect the sacredness of all existence in early times. You could trudge over to the seer or stand in line to visit the Oracle at Delphi-or you could watch your furniture. niture.

For instance, if you are rocking in your rocking chair and it starts to move along the floor, company will show on your porch before nighttime. A chair that rocks by itself signifies the imminent arrival of bad news.

If you knock your chair over when rising from the table, it is a sign that you lied while seated there. Turning a chair on one leg so that it pivots usually presages a household hold fight.

Any large piece of wooden furniture-such as a wardrobe, robe, table or chest-that starts to dry out and crack is signaling a change in the weather.

If you are dreaming away one night and suddenly feel like the world’s falling, perhaps one of the slats of your bed has fallen out. If so, don’t worry; this is a sign that riches will soon be coming your way. Also concerning beds, climbing out of bed over the footboard when first rising in the morning ing portends a fortunate day.

The kitchen has its share of portents, too. If apples burst while baking in the oven, good news is on the way for the cook. Eggs that crack while boiling are a sign that visitors are expected.

Many people around the world abhor Americans’ bland, precooked rice. Real rice sticks to itself; it has a different ferent texture. When this type of rice forms a ring around the edge of the pot while cooking, the cook will become rich.

Knocking over the sugar bowl is another sign of money, probably harkening back to the days when sugar was prohibitively expensive. Spilling pepper signifies a coming fight, while upsetting the salt shaker is a wellknown known signal of trouble. Throw a pinch of pepper or salt over the left shoulder to avoid the hex.

Accidentally mixing up salt and sugar in a recipe is a sweet sign, regardless of the taste of the finished dish. It presages good news. Forgetting to add spices while cooking ing not only decreases the flavor of your food, it also signifies trouble ahead. Remedy this by adding the spices as soon as possible.

Bubbles in your morning coffee presage money. If they are near the side of the cup you drink from, the money will come soon; if on the far side, it will come more slowly.

If you drink tea, look into your cup. Floating tea leaves signify money coming your way. The tea leaves themselves, selves, of course, can be read to foretell the future. Get a good book on the subject or simply look at the patterns the leaves make and let your psychic powers flow.

There are some kitchen portents of approaching rain. If you must add a lot of water to boiling food, showers will descend. If the coffeepot boils over more often than usual, this is also a sign of impending precipitation.

Many omens emerge at the dining table. Crossing knives while setting the table foretells long journeys, while a piece of bread falling from someone’s hand means a beggar will soon be knocking at the door. (This doesn’t necessarily mean a ramshackle, bearded bum, though; it could be a friend who’s low on cash.)

Spilling water on the tablecloth, by right of sympathetic pathetic magic, indicates that rain is on the way. If you drop a glass and it doesn’t break, this is proof that you have friends who would go through fire for you. Silverware dropped at the table indicates the impending ing arrival of a visitor-a fork represents a man, a spoon a woman. Dropping a knife also means a visitor-if the blade sticks into the floor.

Animals are frequently watched to predict the future. A bird flying into a house for no apparent reason is a sign of good luck and fortune for the owner (but perhaps not for the bird). It may also portend news from a distance.

Swallows settling in at your home mean that it will never want for luck. The same is true of martins. If you hear a mockingbird while falling asleep, good luck will be yours.

Snakes were once kept as household guardians, and a snake in the home is still considered lucky. If a snake crawls up your doorsteps, it may mean that someone from another country will enter your house. A snake in the garden also brings good fortune.

Wild animal tracks in the snow, completely encircling the house, are another sign of good luck.

Seeing a spider in the house in the morning, or anytime, time, is good luck; killing one brings bad luck. A spider or bee entering your home through an open window indicates cates news on the way.

Doors opening by themselves signal the impending arrival of company. Cracks in the ceiling and soot dropping from the chimney indicate bad weather ahead. A falling picture presages a journey for someone in the family.

If a broom drops across a doorway, you will soon go on a journey. (Make sure to pick it up quickly; don’t step over it.) When your cupboard doors are left open, people will gossip about you.

If your garden gate bangs open and shut at night, you will have many visitors the next day. And finally, if the doorbell bell rings and you don’t answer it, you will lose a friend. (This was probably invented by traveling salesmen and bill collectors.)


The Magical Household: Spells & Rituals for the Home

Scott Cunningham; David Harrington