The summertime clocks have changed and the nights draw in. A nip in the air and a frost on the ground welcomes a warming bowl soup. Lovely Toffee apples hit the market stalls and delicious treats of parkin and treacle toffee lead us into Bonfire Night.
November is the eleventh month of the year according to the Gregorian calendar, which is used in almost all the world today. It takes its name from novem, the Latin word for nine. November comes between autumn and winter. The Anglo-Saxons referred to November as "the wind month" and sometimes "the blood month," probably because during this period they killed animals for their winter meat.
The November moon is known as the Full Beaver Moon which comes from the fact that the beavers are now active in their preparation for winter. Its also called the Frosty Moon, as this is the next full moon after the Harvest Moon. It can also be referred to as the Hunters' Moon, with the leaves falling and the deer fattened, it is time to hunt.
The Flower for November is the Chrysanthemum.
Chrysanthemums are members of the compositae family, which includes daisies and sunflowers. They come in many different classes - pompon, quill, spider, brush, thistle, single, incurve and spoon. The Chinese consider the chrysanthemum the flower of autumn. Chrysanthemum seeds came to Japan via Korea in the fourth century, and in AD 910, Japan held its first imperial Chrysanthemum Show and declared this the National flower.
Chrysanthemums were first introduced to Europe in 1688, and to the US in 1897. Chrysanthemums were always great favourites of the noble class, and in China, up until recently, common folks were not allowed to grow them in their gardens. They are one of China’s “Four Most Graceful Plants,” the others being ume, orchid and bamboo. Chrysanthemum petals are said to be quite tasty and are particularly good added to cream soups or salads.
November is also sugar and spice and all things nice with 'Stir-up Sunday'. The date of Stir-up Sunday 2012 is Sunday 25 November. Christmas or Plum Puddings have a firm tradition at Christmas in the UK, despite them taking hours to cook! Traditionally made four weeks before Christmas, on or after the Sunday before Advent.
So, November is quite a busy month here at Vintage. Bonfires need building, leaves need raking, and figgy puds need making!
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.
With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.
The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring."
~ by Elizabeth Coatsworth.