Rosh Hashanah is coming

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins today at sunset. Rosh Hashanah customs include sounding the shofar (a hollowed-out ram’s horn) and eating symbolic foods such as apples dipped in honey to evoke a “sweet new year”. Unlike the secular New Year’s Day celebration on January 1st, Rosh Hashanah is one of the holiest days on the Jewish calendar. This year Rosh Hashanah is celebrated from October 2nd through October 4th.

Learn more about Rosh Hashanah and find ideas for observing this holiday on our page of links.

Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week is an annual observance celebrating the freedom to read. Banned Books Week was first marked in 1982 “in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries.” Since its inception, more than 11,300 books have been challenged, according to the American Library Association. This year Banned Books Week runs from September 25 through October 1 and focuses on young adult literature.

See which books are most commonly challenged/banned and learn more about censorship on our page of links.

Mid-Autumn Festival

The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, falls on 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar and will be observed this year on September 15th. This festival has been celebrated by both Chinese and Vietnamese people for over 3,000 years and is one of the most important holidays on the Chinese calendar, as it marks the end of the harvest. See more about the Mid-Autumn Festival on our page of links.

Labor Day

Labor Day is a federal holiday, observed on the first Monday in September. It celebrates the role of the American worker. For many people, this three-day weekend also marks the end of the summer season, even though summer doesn’t officially end until a few weeks later. This year Labor Day falls on September 5th.

See our page of links to learn more about Labor Day.

Hispanic Heritage Month: September 15th – October 15th

Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from September 15th through October 15th. During this period “America celebrates the culture and traditions of U.S. residents who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean. September 15th was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.” (Source: U.S. Newswire)

Summer Olympic Games

The summer Olympics will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from August 5 through August 21, 2016. More than 10,500 athletes representing over 200 countries will compete in 28 different sports. For the first time ever, a team of refugee athletes will also be allowed to compete; they will march under the Olympic flag.

While the competition itself is bound to be riveting, the lingering threat of the Zika virus, Brazil’s economic difficulties and environmental concerns at some Olympic venues, may provide drama outside of the competition as well.

See our page of links for more about the Olympic movement and the Rio games.

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