30 Days Hath November
Date observed & holiday substituted for
This holiday originated with this nursery rhyme:
30 days hath September,
April, June, and November.
All the rest have 31,
Excepting February alone,
Which only has but 28 days clear,
And 29 in each leap year.
No one knows why this rhyme started the holiday, but that's what everyone says. Earliest records indicate it started sometime in the 1500s by Spanish apprentice workers who petitioned for a day off before the winter shopping season started. Some theories state that November 30th was an easier day to remember than the fourth Thursday and most workers had received their paychecks by then.
Traditions & rituals
Beer is an integral part of this holiday. Before beginning the festivities, either the head of the household (or other designated representative) must pour a cup of beer onto a fertile patch of ground to symbolize the bounty of the earth. Families in apartment complexes who have no access to fertile soil may pour their beer into a potted ficus. Once the starting libation has been poured, each family member must pour a tablespoon of beer onto the earth. As the last libation is poured, all members of the family must raise their glasses toward each other and shout "Bravo!"
After the starting ceremonies, the feast may begin. Traditional dishes include turducken (or the less popular turporken), cranberry hash, steamed purple fingerling potatoes, asparagus souffle, zucchini salad, berry cheesecake, and potato pancakes.
After the feast, the family gathers in the field and plants a new spruce. When the tree has been planted, the head of the household must imbibe the ritual Bloody Mary and plant the celery stalk into the ground next to the spruce to symbolize the tree's trunk growing tall and strong. Apartment dwellers may re-plant last year's ficus into a bigger pot or ceremonially plant a new ficus. The family members then join hands around the spruce and sing the "30 days hath September" nursery rhyme. Once the singing is concluded, the family members pair off for the ritual mud wrestling. The wrestling continues until there's one person left standing (injured players must continue). The survivors are awarded the leftover cranberry hash, or as much as they can take home. The winner of the mud wrestling competition will be in charge of acquiring the turducken for next year's celebration.
The surviving family members retire into the dining room and have a celebratory piece of cheesecake. The evening concludes with a ritual forehead-slapping as each member leaves for the evening.
There has been some disagreement in modern times over some traditions. In ancient times, 30 Days Hath November was celebrated with a badger tickling ceremony instead of the ritual mud wrestling. After the Incident of Little Bjorn Bjornsen, badger tickling was abolished as being "too dangerous." Modern revivalists have attempted to get the badger tickling ceremony recognized, saying:
"It's an ancientish and proud tradition. Just because someone got hurt a long time ago doesn't mean tickling badgers isn't a safe way to spend the holiday!"
Opponents have a differing view, stating:
"Yeah? Tell that to Little Bjorn Bjornsen's face!"
The debate is still ongoing.