September National Days
Make the most of the last remaining warm days with outdoor celebrations & festivities. Show off your baking skills during National Cupcake Week & hold a coffee morning at the end of the month to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Leukemia & Lymphoma Awareness Month
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
World Alzheimer’s Month
1 Autumn starts
The meteorological start of autumn. Different to the astronomical seasons, the meteorological autumn is from September 1st – November 30.
1-3 Great British Skinny Dip
A chance to try costume-free swimming without worrying what other people think. Are we too inhibited in Britain? If we did this more often would we have less body hang-ups? Check the website for participating swimming pools, leisure centres, beaches & lakes & take the plunge.
2 VJ Day
Victory over Japan Day. Celebrating the formal surrender of Japan on this day in 1945. It marked not only the end of the war in the Pacific but also the end of World War II.
2 Bacon Day (USA)
Held on the Saturday before Labor Day. Get together with friends & serve as many bacon related dishes as you can think of – or just stick with the tried & tested bacon sarnie.
3 Welsh Rarebit Day
A celebration of the savoury cheese on toast dish. Most people have their own version but it is basically a cheese sauce poured over toast. Cheddar cheese is typically used with beer, mustard or Worcestershire sauce added for a bit of zing. The ingredients are melted in a saucepan & then spread over the toast before being heated under the grill for a crispy topping.
3-9 Migraine Awareness Week
An annual campaign run by the charity Migraine Action, to raise awareness & understanding of this condition. Migraine affects 1 in 7 people yet unfortunately, public understanding is minimal & sufferers are often dismissed as hypochondriacs or making a meal of a simple headache. A neurological disorder, there is no known cause or cure & attacks can last from 4 to 72 hours, affecting work & social life. Support the week by displaying posters to raise awareness or holding a fundraising event.
4 Labor Day (USA)
Celebrated on the first Monday in September. The day honours the workers of America & the contribution they have made to the strength & prosperity of the country. The first Labor Day was held in New York with a parade followed by a festival to entertain the workers & their families. More recently, the day is seen as the end of the summer & a last chance for a barbecues & picnics.
4-8 Zero Waste Week
Pledge to have a week where nothing gets wasted! It’s not easy these days when everything comes with so much packaging. Shop more often so food gets eaten before it goes off & buy loose fruit & veg that you can put in recyclable bags. Planning your menu beforehand also helps so that you’re not buying odd items that will get forgotten. Try keeping a folded bag or 2 in your handbag so you’re never caught short 7 have to buy one. For more ideas, visit the Zero Waste Week website.
4-10 Organ Donation Week
An annual campaign run by the NHS to educate people about the benefit of organ and tissue donation. Despite the thousands of transplant operations which take place every year, around 10,000 people in the UK are currently in need of a life-saving organ transplant because there aren’t enough organs available. More lives could potentially be saved if more families agreed to donate their loved ones organs after death.
Let relatives know that if anything happens to you, you would like them to give their consent for your organs to be used . It’s even easier these days with social media; just attach a Twibbon banner to your Facebook or Twitter profile picture & let friends & family know that way. 45% of families agree to organ donation if they are unaware of their loved one’s decision to be a donor. This figure rises to 95% when they do know the decision. Why not sign up for the NHS Organ Donor Register as well?
6 National Fitness Day
A campaign run by UK Active to get the nation moving & to celebrate physical activity & fitness. Leisure centres are encouraged to offer free classes to give people the opportunity to try something new.
7 Independence Day (Brazil)
A national holiday to celebrate Brazil’s independence from the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil & the Algarve; a kingdom that had been created only 7 years earlier. The day is celebrated across the country with parades, carnivals & fireworks.
7-10 Heritage Open Days
An annual chance to experience local history, architecture & culture for free. Buildings that may normally be closed to the public, throw open their doors for you to explore what’s on your doorstep. There are also talks, events & activities, so something for everyone.
8 International Literacy Day
A UN day, first celebrated in 1965 to raise awareness of the importance of literacy. According to UNESCO, approximately 775 million people are illiterate & lack the basic reading and writing skills to manage daily living and employment tasks. 64% of these are women & it is estimated that if all women completed primary education, there would be 66% fewer maternal deaths. The effects of illiteracy are very similar in both developing and developed nations – limited opportunities for employment or income generation, higher chances of poor health, propensity towards crime or dependence on social welfare or charity.
11-17 Lymphatic Cancer Awareness Week
A campaign to raise awareness amongst the general public & also to highlight to patients the importance of continuing support once treatment has finished. Lymphoma is the 5th most common cancer & the most common blood cancer. It occurs when the white blood cells (lymphocytes) that help protect the body from infection & disease, behave abnormally. The two main types of lymphoma are Hodgkin & non-Hodgkin. Help raise awareness by holding a Pitch Up In Purple day or Great British Tea Break.
13 Roald Dahl Day
Celebrated on the author’s birthday. Famous for books such as Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, Danny Champion of the World & Matilda, he originally wrote short stories for adults but after having children of his own, began writing children’s books. The books are quite dark but are written with humour & obviously appeal to their young readers. Have a day out at The Roald Dahl Museum & find out more about him.
13 International Chocolate Day
One of many chocolate-related days in the year (but who’s complaining!). This day is celebrated on the birthday of Milton Hershey, creator of the Hershey Chocolate Bar. Have a chocolate tasting event & try chocolate bars made from beans from different countries. It’s amazing how different they can all taste.
13-17 Agatha Christie Week
Celebrating the best selling author of all time. Famous for her crime novels, Agatha Christie’s books have been translated into over 50 languages. Born in Torquay on 15 September 1890, this year sees the 125th anniversary of her birth & plenty of events are planned in the area. For more details, visit the festival website. If you can’t make it down to Devon, why not organise your own murder mystery evening.
15-18 Great British Beach Clean
An annual event organised by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS). Thousands of birds & animals die each year through accidentally eating or becoming entangled in litter. Help maintain our beaches & also protect the birds & marine animals by spending an hour or two clearing some of the rubbish that accumulates as a result of thoughtless people. Check the list of Beachwatch beaches & if none are organised near you, why not get together with friends & organise your own clean up?
16 National Gymnastics Day (USA)
An annual celebration & promotion of the sport. The day is an opportunity for children who do not usually have access to facilities to try the sport & to discover fitness through gymnastics
16-3 Oct Oktoberfest
Started in 1810 when the citizens of Munich were invited to celebrate the marriage of Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildberghausen with a fete in the fields in front of the city gates. The horse races that were part of the festivities were so popular that it was decided to hold them each year. The event got bigger with fair ground rides being added & also beer stalls. The stalls turned into tents as the canny publicans saw a marketing opportunity & this gradually took over from the horse races. The races are no more, but the Oktoberfest still takes place on those same fields. Take the opportunity to gather some friends & some Munich brewed beers & see which you like best (out of the beers that is, not your friends)! Don’t forget some German sausage, pumpernickel & pretzels to soak it up.
17 Constitution Day (USA)
Celebrating the signing of the US Constitution on this day in 1787. From May to September of that year, delegates from all the original US states, except Rhode Island, gathered to write a constitution that would represent a new national government. It was finally signed on September 17 1787 by 39 of the original 55 delegates.
18-24 National Cupcake Week
Mini sponge cakes baked in paper cases & decorated with icing. Thanks to the TV programme Sex in the City, cupcakes have taken off in a big way. The great thing about them is that the decoration can be as simple or elaborate as you like so anyone can give them a go. If you run a cupcake business, why not enter the National Cupcake Championships or run your own local event? For more information, visit the National Cupcake Week website.
18-24 Know Your Numbers Week
An annual awareness campaign launched in 2001 & run by Blood Pressure UK. The aim of the week is to encourage adults across the UK to know their blood pressure numbers & take the necessary action to reach & maintain a healthy blood pressure. Hundreds of organisations across the country will provide free blood pressure tests & information.
18-24 World Reflexology Week
To raise awareness of the benefits of this complementary therapy. Reflexology is an application of pressure or massage used to relieve tension and treat illness, based on the theory that different points on the feet, lower leg, hands & face correspond with different areas of the body. There is no scientific evidence that reflexology is effective for any medical condition, however, some patients find it helps to relieve stress, pain & anxiety.
19 Talk Like A Pirate Day
Aha me hearties, Thursday 19th be Talk Like A Pirate Day. Visit www.talklikeapirate.com for events near you or check out our pirate theme for party ideas. If you want to dress like a pirate as well, to help the accent along, then obviously feel free!
20 Rum Punch Day
Celebrate this warming spirit by making it into a punch & handing round. The forerunner of cocktails, punches are alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks mixed with fruit & fruit juice & served in a large bowl with a ladle. Thought to have come over from India with British sailors working for the British East India Company, the original main ingredients were sugar, lemon or lime juice, alcohol & (sometimes) water. Tea or spices were then added for flavour. With the rise of sugar plantations in the West Indies, rum punches became popular.
20 Red Panda Day
3rd Saturday in September & organised by the conservation group Red Panda Network. Red Pandas are slightly larger than a domestic cat with a bear-like body, thick russet fur & distinctive white markings on the side of the head. They live mainly in trees & are found predominantly in the Eastern Himalayas. The loss of nesting trees and bamboo (its main diet) is causing a decline as their forest home is being cleared & they also face threats from poachers & traps set for other animals. Use this day to find out more about these animals & maybe even adopt one at Chester Zoo.
20-22 Rosh Hashanah
The Jewish New Year starts at sundown on 20th. It is a time to reflect on the past year & try & put right any wrongs that may have occurred, before Yom Kippur. It is also the start of the Ten Days of Repentance. signalled by the blowing of the Shofar (ram’s horn) in the synagogue.
21 International Day of Peace
An annual United Nations day first held in 1982. Terrible to think that we actually need to set a day aside for this but no matter how advanced our species gets, wars just keep happening. The day is an occasion for cultural understanding & hopefully ceasefire in combat zones. To start the proceedings, the United Nations peace Bell is rung at its headquarters in New York. The bell was a gift from the United Nations Association of Japan as ‘a reminder of the human cost of war’; the inscription on its side reads, ‘Long live absolute world peace’.
21 World Alzheimer’s Day
Launched in 1994 on the 10th anniversary of Alzheimer’s Disease International, the international federation of Alzheimer’s associations. The day is to raise awareness of this disease not just amongst the public but also governments – ‘dementia is a serious health issue which will have serious implications on services and health systems around the world as the world’s population grows older’. Alzheimer’s disease, named after the doctor who first described it (Alois Alzheimer), is a progressive, physical disease that affects the brain. Early symptoms tend to be memory lapses & changes in mood. These might progress to changes in behaviour & difficulties in communication. The disease affects not just the patient but also family & friends around them. Ever 68 seconds someone develops Alzheimer’s which is a horrific statistic.
22 World Car-free Day
An annual event to make people aware that they can manage without their cars for a day & if they can manage for a day, maybe they can manage for longer. However, it is also a day to highlight to city councils & governments what they need to do regarding public transport & cycle paths to help make this happen.
22 World Rhino Day
Started in 2010 to raise awareness of the plight of these animals & help prevent the poaching of their horns. There are 5 species of rhino; the black & white found in Africa & the greater one-horned, Sumatran & Javan found in Asia. All are at risk due to poaching & loss of habitat. Poachers sell the horns for use in medicine (ineffectual!) & for handles for knives & daggers. The end for the rhino is brutal & needless. Increased farming, human settlement and logging also mean that rhinos are being pushed out of their natural habitat. Many countries have already lost their rhino populations. Want to get involved? Visit the Save The Rhino website.
22 Autumn Equinox
Signaling the start of the astronomical autumn & varies between 22nd & 24th each year. The equinox occurs when the sun shines directly on the equator & the length of day & night is nearly equal. Pagan celebrations would have taken place at this time although since Christianity, these have perhaps been replaced by Michaelmas.
22 National Doodle Day
A fundraising event for Epilepsy Action – ‘drawing a line through epilepsy’. Do a doodle & donate £1 . Visit www.doodle-day.epilepsy.org.uk for more details
22 Jeans for Genes Day
Wear jeans to school or work, make a donation & help raise funds for children with genetic disorders. The money raised on this day funds a variety of projects including an annual grant programme for UK support groups and charities caring for children with genetic disorders, resources for schools to make pupils more aware and empathetic of the difficult lives that other children lead & also funding Genetic Disorders UK, a national charity dedicated to supporting affected families. It is estimated that one in 25 children is affected by a genetic disorder and 30,000 babies and children are newly diagnosed in the UK each year so visit the Jeans for Genes Day website & find out more.
23-8 Oct British Food Fortnight
Started in 2002 to celebrate the best of Britain’s produce. It’s far too easy to reach for the foreign imports but it’s not so good for our growers, the environment or your taste buds. See how much of your weekly shop you can make British & seasonal. Visit the Love British Food for more ideas & events.
25 National Comic Book Day
Celebrating the world of The Beano, Dandy & similar publications. Where would our heroes Batman, Spiderman, Superman & Roy of the Rovers be if it wasn’t for their humble beginnings in comic strips. Starting life as reading material for the semi-literate working class, comics soon became popular with children & full of serialised daring adventure. As children have turned to computers for their entertainment, comics have started to decline & become collectors items so have a day of reminiscing & flick through a comic or two.
25 International Ataxia Awareness Day
To raise awareness of this mainly genetic disorder. Ataxia is a group of rare and often fatal degenerative neurological disorders. Symptoms are progressive and often impact coordination, hearing, vision, and speech. It affects all ages but is more common in children and young adults. Although relatively unheard of by the general public, around 10,000 people in the UK have some form of ataxia but unfortunately, at the moment, there is no effective treatment or cure for it. Help raise money to fund vital research.
25-1 Oct Recycle Week
Organised by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) under the Recycle Now banner. The focus is on raising the public’s awareness of what can be recycled & that if we all make a little effort it can make a difference.
26 European Day of Languages
An annual initiative started in 2001 to encourage Europeans to learn more languages. In Britain we have become very lazy with foreign languages as English is one of the most widely used languages across the globe. We also start a second language in school later than in other countries. Yet we are missing out on a great experience, communication & understanding of other countries. If you’re going abroad for work or pleasure it is also polite to try & learn some simple phrases. If you haven’t spoken another language since school, use this day to look into a foreign language course either online, at college or through CDs or have a fun day with the kids finding out how to say hello in as many languages as possible.
27 World Tourism Day
An annual observance to highlight tourism’s social, cultural, political & economic value. Many communities rely heavily on tourism for their economy; it is an area of commerce that has built up rapidly in the last 50 years – quiet fishing villages becoming crowded beach resorts. The day is celebrated with special events, offers & festivities.
28 World Rabies Day
A UN observance to raise awareness about the impact of rabies on humans & animals. It is held on the anniversary of the death of Louis Pasteur who helped to develop the first rabies vaccine. According to the World Health Organisation an estimated 55,000 human deaths occur worldwide per year due to rabies. It is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the brain & can be transmitted from one species to another. It is most commonly passed on by a bite from an infected animal. For humans, it can be fatal if medical treatment is not given early on. Rabies is a 100% vaccine-preventable disease. However, despite the availability of tools to manage the disease, rabies prevails to cause tens of thousands of deaths every year. The disease disproportionately affects poor, low-resource communities.
28 National Poetry Day
An annual mass celebration of poetry and all things poetical co-ordinated by the Forward Arts Foundation. The theme for this year is Light & proprietors of power stations and lighthouses, opticians, photographers and firework-makers are among the professions pledged to participate by displaying poems. Impromptu poetry festivals and read-a-thons will pop up in thousands of unexpected places, from shops, streets and offices to waiting rooms and train stations.
29 World Heart Day
The world’s biggest intervention against cardiovascular disease (CVD). The aim of World Heart Day is to create healthy heart environments & encourage us all to reduce our cardiovascular risk. Share your Healthy Heart Selfies (a photo of yourself making the heart symbol with your hands) on the campaign Twitter & Facebook pages. Organise a walk & get friends & family out in the open air socialising & doing some exercise.
The Feast of St Michael & All Angels. A Christian festival to celebrate St Michael, the protector against the dark of the night, as the days get shorter. It is also one of four quarter days & a time when, with the end of the harvest, workhands were hired at the Michaelmas Hiring Fair. These were also known as Goose Fairs as goose was traditionally eaten as part of the feast. Nottingham has kept this tradition & still holds an annual Goose Fair.
29 World’s Biggest Coffee Morning
To raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. A great, sociable way to raise vital funds for this worthy cause. Macmillan nurses & health care professionals are there for cancer patients & their families to support them through the diagnosis, treatment & aftercare. They offer not just medical help but also practical information to see people through a difficult time. Have a baking spree & invite friends & family round for coffee & cake in exchange for a donation or take cakes in for work colleagues. For more information visit the Macmillan Cancer Support website.
29-30 Yom Kippur
The Day of Atonement. Considered to be the holiest Jewish day of the year, it is a day to reflect on the past year & ask God’s forgiveness for any sins. From just before sunset on 22nd to nightfall the following day, Jews abstain from food & drink (unless they are young, old or ill), they do not wash or wear perfume, they don’t wear leather shoes & they abstain from marital relations.
30 Astronomy Day
Created in 1973 to raise the public’s interest in astronomy. Astronomy clubs, museums, universities & observatories hold special events around the country to get the public involved. For some, it’s a first chance to look through a telescope. The day is held twice a year around May & October, depending on the 1st quarter moon