Since at least 1909, a superstition has lived in North American and the United Kingdom that if a person says or repeats the word “rabbit” upon waking up on the first day of the month, good luck will follow for the remainder of that month.
Elements of the tradition exist in the United Kingdom, New England, and even in various First Nation cultures.
While I’m not necessarily endorsing the superstition, it provides a way to look in depth at each month of the year, from history and observances to miscellaneous trivia. The topic this month is October.
October is the tenth month of the year, but it used to be the eighth in the old calendar of Romulus.
Roman observances for October include one of three Mundus patet (October 5th), Meditrinalia (October 11th), Augustalia (October 12th), October Horse (October 15th), and Armilustrium (October 19th). None of these correspond to dates on the current Gregorian Calendar.
Anglo-Saxons also referred to October as Ƿinterfylleþ, because at this full moon (fylleþ) winter was supposed to begin.
October hosts a lot of month-long observances, including Black History Month in the United Kingdom, the Month of the Holy Rosary in the Catholic Church, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Health Literacy Month, International Walk to School Month, Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month, Rett Syndrome Awareness Month, World Blindness Awareness Month, World Menopause Month, and Vegetarian Awareness Month.
The United States, in grand tradition, adds a slew of observances.
In general for the United States, October hosts American Archives Month, National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, National Arts & Humanities Month, National Bullying Prevention Month, National Cyber Security Awareness Month, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Filipino American History Month, Italian-American Heritage and Culture Month, Polish American Heritage Month, and National Work and Family Month.
Then, they add a bunch of health-related observances, including American Pharmacist Month, Dwarfism/Little People/Short Stature/Skeletal Dysplasia Awareness, Eczema Awareness Month, National Dental Hygiene Month, National Healthy Lung Month, National Infertility Awareness Month, Liver Awareness Month, National Lupus Erythematosus Awareness Month, National Physical Therapy Month, National Spina Bifida Awareness Month, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Awareness Month
Oh, we’re not done yet.
They also have a few food-related observances, too: National Pizza Month, National Popcorn Poppin’ Month, National Pork Month, and National Seafood Month.
Finally, because I love it so, the month ends with Halloween. Get spoopy, friends.
- October’s birthstones are tourmaline (a stone of reconciliation, humanity, and grounding) and the opal (a stone of love, passion, desire, and eroticism).
- The western zodiac signs of October are Libra (until October 22) and Scorpio (October 23 onwards).
- The month’s birth flower is the calendula.
- The French have been known to shorten octobre to 8bre for… reasons?
Rabbit Rabbit is a project designed to look at each month of the year with respect to history, observances, and more.
For more creativity with a critical eye, visit Creative Criticality.