November

‘The one day of the Year’ in South Australia is the Christmas Pageant, a parade of floats and marching bands through the streets of Adelaide held on the first Saturday of the month. Father Christmas is eagerly awaited and appears on the final float, and he settles into the Magic Cave until the last shopping day before Christmas.

When my Children were small I made a promise to put up the Christmas tree if we didn’t go to the pageant. One year when we lived in a street with about 25 kids I put the tree together during the televised pageant, and as the telecast finished it seemed like every one of those kids turned up to help decorate the tree. It was finished in 5 minutes, and looked great.

The first Tuesday in November is Melbourne Cup Day in Australia.

Stir-up Sunday is the last Sunday before Advent. The name has nothing to do with cakes and puddings, but was named after the collection during the service that day which begins ‘Stir up we beseech Thee O Lord.’

By tradition it is also the last day on which puddings and cakes can be made if they are to be ready for Christmas Day.

The same time marks the start of Short lent, a Greek fast which ends after morning mass on Christmas Day.

Mistletoe

York Minster is the only church exempt from the rule that mistletoe not be used in churches. It is important in Druid customs to cut mistletoe in November. There is no indication of why kissing under the mistletoe started, or why it has continued, except that it may be fun.

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29 St Andrew’s Eve

Time to look into the future, especially for girls who want to know who they will marry.

In Romania it is the night vampires rise from their graves to haunt the houses in which they lived.

30 St Andrews Day

One of the 12 Apostles, brother of Simon Peter, and patron saint of Scotland.

First Sunday in Advent is the Sunday nearest to St Andrew’s Day, and the fourth Sunday before Christmas. Advent is a period of preparation for the coming of Christ.

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