Featured events, anniversaries and awareness days in September 2022
September through October 15 is my favorite time of the year.
Why through October 15? I spent my formative years in the Pacific Northwest. Like clockwork, every year, the weather was gorgeous in early fall. Suddenly, on October 15, BAM! Windy, wet, dark, and gray for the next seven months.
Before the 15th? I loved those perfumed autumn days leading up to that date, the rustle of falling leaves, and the faint calls from the practice pitch as children played American football or soccer. September was always the beginning of a new year of possibilities. The sky gets this magical Persian blue, deep, glowing, and serene. In the evenings, there is a crisp bite to the air—dew shimmers on the lawn in the morning. September is childhood encapsulated.
Cover Image: Sunday Sidcor Market in Manila, Philippines. This market in Makati City is where some of the best, or arguably the world's best coffee, is found, Coffee Alamid. The market is the only place you can get it directly from the family. I purchased several bags, one for myself and the rest as gifts. My sister, to this day, raves about it.
Themes for September include Hispanic Heritage Month, back-to-school, and related health and safety issues. Hurricanes in the northern hemisphere are a central focus, and the beginning of spring in the southern hemisphere has everyone in a good mood. Several nations have anniversaries; fall harvest celebrations feature prominently, including Germany's Oktoberfest, which begins on September 17. And for the sports enthusiasts, American football season begins.
September includes some hefty anniversaries, including the beginning of World War II on September 1, 1939 (and its end on September 2, 1945). September includes the terrorist attack on the United States on September 11, 2001, and the end of the American Revolutionary War on September 3, 1783. Brazil celebrates its independence from Portugal on September 7, 1822, and the original Star Trek premiered on September 8, 1966.
Here are some other anniversaries.
Great Irish Potato Famine Begins
Date: September 9, 1845, through 1851
Champion: Historical Anniversary
What would become known as the Great Irish Famine was first reported on September 9, 1845, in the Dublin Evening Post.
A fungus destroyed over 30% of the potato crop in Ireland in 1845, the first year. However, this was not a one-year event. In 1846, 1848, and 1849, nearly the entire crop succumbed to disease, starving the nation of its most basic food. Over 1 million people died, and another 1.5 million emigrated to the United States, Canada, and Australia.
The Great Potato Famine initiated one of the largest waves of immigration from a single nation in history for each destination. By the time of the US Census in 1850, 40% of all foreign-born residents in the United States were Irish. The crisis abated in 1852.
For the full story of the famine, including the political reasons it occurred and lasted so long, this article does a nice synopsis: https://www.dochara.com/the-irish/food-history/the-irish-potato-famine-1846-1850/
International Chocolate Day
Date: September 13, 1857
Champion: National Confectioners Association
International Chocolate Day marks the birthday of Milton S. Hershey (September 13, 1857), the founder of The Hershey Chocolate Company in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Chocolate beans have been used since around 1900 BC by the people of Central America, usually as a bitter drink, often alcoholic, or with red peppers. (It is quite a treat if you've never tried hot chocolate with red peppers using hot water instead of milk!)
On his fourth voyage, Christopher Columbus brought the bean to Europe. He noted the encounter in his ship's log on August 15, 1502.
A few decades later, Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés would bring the bean back in bulk (he was only 17 when Columbus found it).
But in its Central American form, it wasn't the sweet treat we see today. That required several inventions:
John Baker's process of grounding cocoa beans between millstones to create a powder in 1764 turned it into a spice.
Conrad Van Houten developed a method for extracting the cacao liquor from the fat in the cocoa bean in 1828, which made chocolate affordable.
And finally, the development of conching by Swiss chocolatier Rodolphe Lindt in 1879 made it into candy.
The rest is sweet history.
There are several different types of cocoa beans. Though native to the Americas, nearly two-thirds of cocoa production today occur in Africa, with the Ivory Coast as the largest producer.
Beslan Siege & Massacre
Dates: September 1-3, 2004
Champion: Historical Anniversary
It was the first day of school, September 1, 2004, at Beslan School Number 1, an elementary school in the small town of Beslan (population 30,000), Russia. At 9:20 AM, 32 Chechen terrorists attacked the school with guns, grenades, and bombs. The parents and students (approximately 1,200 people) were attending the annual first-day celebrations. Over the next three days, 334 people died, including 20% (186) of the school's children, most in the lower grades.
Beslan is the worst terrorist attack targeting children in modern history.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE DAY OF THE ATTACK
For Russians, the first day of school is significant, and it usually occurs on September 1 and is known as the First Day or the Day of Knowledge. It is a festive atmosphere throughout the country for parents and children, with food, gifts, and balloons given to teachers, games, and other ice breakers.
Day of Knowledge began as a Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on June 15, 1984. It continues after the dissolution of the Soviet Union as a Russian and Eastern European tradition.
International Confucius Day
Date: September 28, 551 BC
Confucius Day marks the birth of Confucius on September 28, 551 BC.
Confucius was a Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher who lived during the Spring and Autumn eras in Chinese history until 479 BC. His philosophy emphasized personal and political morality, correctness, justice, and sincerity, known as Confucianism. He amassed an impressive number of followers when alive and to this day.
He is credited as an author and editor of many classic Chinese texts, including The Five Classics.
MAJOR SPORTING EVENTS
September is a month of significant sporting events. Asia is still dealing with COVID, so China's Asia Games are rescheduled, and Turkey's Air Games are canceled.
Here are the highlights.
AFL Grand Final (Football/Soccer): September 24, Australia
Cycling World Championships: September 18-25, Australia
Laver Cup (Tennis): September 23-25, United Kingdom
Men's Asian Futsal Championship: September 27-October 8, Kuwait
NCAA Season Begins (American Football): September 3, United States
NFL Season Begins (American Football): September 8, United States
Rowing World Championships: September 18-25, Czech Republic
Tour of Britain (Cycling): September 4-11, United Kingdom
Triathlon World Cup (Multi-sports): September 10-11, Czech Republic
Triathlon World Cup (Multi-sports): September 3-4, Spain
Women's World Championship (Basketball): September 22-27, Australia
Women's World Championship (Volleyball): September 23-October 2, Poland & Netherlands
World Rugby Seven: September 11-13, South Africa
World Shotgun Championships (Guns): September 27-October 8, Croatia
Wrestling World Championships: September 10-18, Serbia
World Beach Month
Dates: September 1-30
Champion: Florida Smart
September is one of the few months in the world where going to the beach is equally pleasant in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. During World Beach Month, children are encouraged to visit their local beaches, play, build sandcastles, help with clean-up, or explore and learn.
World Beach Month originated in 2018.
Scroll Free September
Dates: September 1-30
Location: United Kingdom
Champion: Royal Society for Public Health
Can you go a month without Social Media? That is the challenge to Britons in September. Social Media continues to have negative and positive impacts on life; however, it is hardly a substitute for honest interpersonal communication.
Scroll Free September challenges the United Kingdom to cut back on its social media consumption for a month. Can you go cold turkey? If not, how about limiting your use at social functions, family gatherings, or when out and about? Make it a goal to speak to that person in line with you rather than scrolling through your phone. It's little changes that can make a big difference. Enjoy Scroll Free September! You might make a new real friend!
Dates: September 1-7
Champion: Autodidactic Press
Created in 1989, Self-University Week seeks to awaken the autodidact in each of us. Whether you've made it through high school or achieved a Ph.D., you've probably figured out that education starts after you graduate. People constantly learn, which is as necessary for our health as our quality of life. The first seven days of September each year remind people to learn something new and embrace the unexpected.
Are you looking for ideas?
Visit your library and find a new topic to discover.
Play the Devil's advocate. Think of a topic for which you are passionate. Some hot-button issues include immigration, abortion, guns, the death penalty, climate sciences, etcetera. Now spend the week learning about the other side and their arguments.
Choose a country you've never visited but would like to. Research it and create an action plan to get there one day.
Spend the week at different restaurants representing different cultures (nobody said eating isn't part of learning). You can also do this with beers and wines and explore the world's tastes or music. Choose something new and different to learn.
This week's idea is to expand your knowledge, challenge conventions, and improve your understanding. Have fun with it!
World Beard Day
Date: September 3, 2022
Champion: Viking Tradition
World Beard Day is believed to have originated over 1,200 years ago with the Vikings and is celebrated annually on the first Saturday of September.
On World Beard Day, bearded family members get to abstain from work and chores.
The beardless members of the family traditionally show their support by waiting on the bearded hand and foot.
Today, World Beard Day is about promoting and elevating the global status of the beard. While many countries and cities practice World Beard Day customs specific to their region, shaving on World Beard Day is universally considered highly disrespectful.
CALIFORNIA WINE MONTH
Dates: September 1-30
Location: Wherever California wines are available
Champion: State of California, USA
California Wine Month celebrates the annual harvest with tastings, festivals, concerts, and food pairings throughout the state.
Vintners and growers enhance the state's lifestyle, economy, and culinary pleasures. This event was first declared in 2017 by the Governor Brown of California, and September draws millions of tourists to California's wine regions each year.
A SHORT HISTORY OF CALIFORNIA WINES
California's first vineyard was planted in Mission San Bruno, today's Baja California Sur of Mexico, by Jesuit priest and Italian Eusebio Francisco Kino in 1683. Drought forced Kino to abandon San Bruno within two years of its establishment.
By 1768, Spain's King Charles III expelled all Jesuits from New Spain, granting administration of the missions to the Franciscan order of monks. Concurrently, Catalan Franciscan friar Junïpero Serra embarked on his historic expedition to Alta California (today's Southern California), where he established the first mission in San Diego in 1769. As with other missions, wine production assisted in supporting the operation. Within a decade, viticulture flourished.
The first purpose-built winery was established at Mission San Gabriel. Californian grapes were of a hardy, disease-resistant strain that came to be known as the "mission grape," a variety still used in some fine California wines and sherries today.
During the 19th century, Americans and Europeans arriving in California expanded viticulture north and east. They brought grape varietals and winemaking traditions from various parts of Europe and West Asia. The "good pirate" Joseph Chapman, captured in a raid on Monterey in 1818, settled in California after his release from prison. He founded the territory's first commercial vineyard in Los Angeles in 1824.
Frenchman Jean-Louis Vignes introduced French vines in the 1830s, and his product quickly surpassed the mission-grape wines in quality. Credit for the incredible diversity of Vitis Vinifera Grape is attributed to the Hungarian Count Agoston Haraszthy. He introduced scores of varietals, including the Zinfandel, one of the most iconic California wines. Haraszthy founded the Buena Vista Winery, the oldest continually operating winery in the state, established in Sonoma in 1857. A former employee of Haraszthy, Charles Krug, is credited with founding the first commercial winery in Napa Valley in 1861.
Grapevine cultivation in Napa Valley began in 1836 by the early settler George Calvert Yount in today's Yountville. Native Californian grapes grew freely on his property, so Yount decided to try his hand at viticulture. His venture eventually established one of the world's most acclaimed wine-growing regions, the Napa Valley.
The Gold Rush of 1849 and subsequent population booms created a large market for wine within the young state. Foreign markets took note as the quality of California wines improved; California eventually became a top exporter of wine.
Captain Gustave Niebaum, a Frenchman, founded the Inglenook Winery in Rutherford in 1879 to produce the state's first Bordeaux. His wines won gold medals within ten years at the World's Fair of Paris. By 1900, California's viticulturists were counted among the world's elite.
Prohibition between 1920 and 1933 caused tremendous hardship for California's wine industry. Growers replaced wine varietals with table grapes. Another tactic was to ship grape juice concentrate packaged with instructions outlining how to avoid fermentation (to teach home brewing.) As wine is a vital part of Christian and some Jewish observances, shipments of sacramental wine increased. Wineries producing religious wine were permitted to operate.
After the repeal of Prohibition, recovery was slow. Americans preferred beer or spirits, and fine wine remained favored by high society and those with European and religious traditions. Despite California wines becoming exceptional by the mid-twentieth century, sales of fortified wine stymied its success, the inexpensive high alcohol versions favored by alcoholics.
Marketing changed that. Robert Mondavi and other industry leaders worked hard to change perceptions and reposition wine in American minds. Today wine is second only to beer as a favorite alcoholic beverage, and California is its largest producer.
If you're in California this September and looking for events, see https://discovercaliforniawines.com/events.
If you are not in California, enjoy a bottle of California wine anywhere in the world, and many resellers will have promotions. Or, sit down and watch the film "Bottle Shock," a comedy about the France/Napa Valley competitiveness.
I love ending on a positive note. Please pass the oaky-buttery Chardonnay that California is known for! The next issue may be topic specific or feature October events, and I haven't decided yet. October is the most densely packed month of the year concerning events, so it is a monster to get through in more ways than one.
Thank you for subscribing to every one of you. You're from all over the world, and I love that! This newsletter is available on LinkedIn and Substack. Please share it.
LEEP Calendar the application will be launching soon. I'm re-editing all 9,000+ events each year, so it will likely premiere after January 1. I wanted to come out this October, but I need five clones of me. We're almost there. Enjoy September!