One of the year’s most famous “months” is on the horizon. October will rightly be awash in pink for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but September and October have a number of other official titles, too, some serious, some fun. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect during the next two months and why the monthly designations are such an important part of Americana.
You know them by their everyday names, September and October – but the ninth and tenth months have a myriad of other monikers.
In fact, most of the calendar’s months, weeks, and days have alter egos. How did January through December become monthly marketing tools? You can thank past and present presidents for many of the declarations, some of which date back decades. Many are generated to motivate the public into dedicating time and money to fight cancer and other diseases. They are often a call to support causes or popularize events that the current POTUS (the Secret Service term for President of the United States) believes are worth promoting.
One of our favorites at Oviedo-Winter Springs Life is September’s Be Kind to Writers and Editors Month... No, we’re not making it up.
The declarations in this September and October sampling range from the serious to the silly.
National Prostate Health Month
This is a subject that makes men uncomfortable, literally. The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that plays an important role in sex. After skin cancer, it is the most common cancer in men in the United States. The key is to discover it early. The cancer can be detected with a simple blood test, but many doctors also recommend a digital rectal exam (DRE). That’s digital as in finger, not digital camera. The exam can be uncomfortable, but it usually only takes a few seconds that can save your life, according to the American Cancer Society.
National Dyslexia Awareness Month
People with dyslexia have trouble recognizing and decoding words. They often have average to superior intelligence. Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, and Winston Churchill all were dyslexic, according to the National Institute for Learning Development.
International Square Dancing Month
This month highlights the do-si-do’s and don’ts for those who want to promenade left and allemande right in countries as far away as Japan, India, and the Ukraine.
National Service Dog Month
This designation raises awareness of the extraordinary work service animals do for children and adults with disabilities or medical conditions. Service dogs help people with autism, blindness, seizure disorders, hearing impairments, and diabetes. They also serve veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries.
National Honey Month
Beekeepers everywhere enjoy the sweet buzz this month generates in honey sales. They don’t call them busy for nothing. The 60,000 or so bees in a beehive may collectively travel as much as 55,000 miles and visit more than two million flowers to gather enough nectar to make just a pound of honey, according to the National Honey Board.
National Happy Cat Month
This must have been created to combat all the grumpy cat videos on the Internet. According to Dr. Lorie Huston of PetMd.com, a healthy cat is a happy cat and vice versa. Here are some tips that will leave your pet feline fine. Give your pet lots of perches and toys to interact with. Playing with your cat is good exercise and relieves cat stress. Exercise coupled with a diet rich in high-quality protein and other nutrients will keep your cat a lean, clean, furry machine.
National Sarcastic Awareness Month
With Election Day on the horizon, we will lean on Will Rogers to convey sarcasm, irony, and contempt in just eight words. Observing the political situation in the 1920s, the legendary humorist opined, “America has the best politicians money can buy.” Some things just don’t change.
National Squirrel Awareness Month
October is a good month to be aware of squirrels, as they collect provisions for the winter. It seems our furry friends have a death wish, as they run in front of our cars without warning. At times their behavior seems, for want of a better word, nutty. Why do they change directions several times when the safest way out of the situation would be a straight line in the opposite direction? Experts believe the squirrelly rodents are trying to confuse your SUV, which they see as a predator.
National Bat Appreciation Month
Most folks don’t appreciate it when a bat gets in your attic and seems intent on dive-bombing your hair while all you have to defend yourself is a tennis racket. But the truth is the nocturnal flying mammals perform a great service to humanity. The average bat eats up to 8,000 mosquitoes per night.
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
More than 200,000 women get breast cancer each year in the U.S. – and more than 40,000 die from the disease. Most breast cancers are found in women over 50, but breast cancer can strike younger women, too. About 11 percent of cases each year are found in women under 45, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
National Learn to Bowl and Roller Skate Month
Here are two ways to embarrass yourself in front of strangers. The first involves throwing repeated gutter balls in rented shoes worn by dozens of people before you. The second comes with the discovery that the only way you can stop yourself as a beginner on roller skates is by falling down or crashing into a tree.
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