October is here, and in the Northern Hemisphere, that often means the days are flush with falling leaves, chilling weather, and growing anticipation for the holiday season.
Why is October named after the number eight?
According to the original Roman republican calendar, October was the eighth month of the year rather than the ninth. The Roman calendar was only 10 months long and included the following months: Martius, Aprilis, Maius, Junius, Quintilis, Sextilis, September, October, November, and December. As you can see, January and February hadn’t been added to the calendar yet!
Like its neighboring months September, November, and December, the month of October kept its numerical name, even after Julius Caesar expanded the calendar year from 10 months to 12. October entered Old English via Old French, replacing the English vernacular term Winterfylleð (“Winter full moon”).
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What is Oktoberfest?
Children may look forward to October for Halloween, which falls at the month’s close, but beer-lovers may be more excited for what’s happening at the beginning of the month—Oktoberfest. This long-standing beer festival has gained popularity around the world, but the true Oktoberfest is located in Munich, Germany, where the festival has been held since 1810.
The Oktoberfest celebration marks the beginning of a new beer-brewing season, as cooler temperatures bring optimal beer-brewing months—the colder weather keeps beer from spoiling. It has long been a tradition to polish off the remaining beer from the year to prepare the casks for a new brew in autumn.
Munich’s Oktoberfest now begins in late September, and although the seasonal climate is less relevant to breweries today, the beer festival of Oktoberfest remains a vibrant tradition!
What else makes October unique?
Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15. October 9, known as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in many states and cities across the US, gives us a chance to reflect on the Indigenous peoples of the US and their individual cultures and history.
October is a month that is special to Libras (people born September 23 through October 23) and Scorpios (those born October 23 through November 21). Libras can be described as convivial and objective, while Scorpios are known as intuitive and tenacious.